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I am anxious to make it clear that this little Dictionary is 
intended as a help to beginners. I do not profess to teach 
those who may be already experienced in yachting and the art 
of boat-sailing, and still less those acquainted with the sea. For 
these there are various nautical dictionaries ; but so far as I am 
aware, there is no such work exclusively devoted to those who 
start in entire ignorance of their subject ; and to supply this 
apparent want the present work is an attempt. 

Such a work presents some difficulties, and is, therefore, 
naturally open to criticism. Nautical terms are essentially 
technical ; many are used in various senses, while sometimes 
several may have but one meaning. And besides these we have 
a list of expressions which, while they cannot be regarded as sea 
terms, have direct reference to boat-building and boat-sailing. 

It is to be feared, too, that some of those phrases now commonly 
met with in the sporting journals may have been overlooked. 
Numerous as are the terms in daily use among seafaring men, 
their number has been considerably enlarged of late years, not 
only in consequence of recent improvements in yacht-building, 
which require new names for parts and fittings hitherto un- 
known, but chiefly in consequence of that tendency in a certain 
class of sporting scriveners so to expand the technicality and 
the volubility of their nautical language that it has been found 
impossible to keep pace with them. 

True maritime terms may generally be traced back to very 
simple derivations. To understand the derivation of a word is to 



understand it in its fullest meaning. For this reason, wherever 
the origin of an expression is known, I have taken the oppor- 
tunity of inserting it. 

The principal works of reference used in this compilation are : 
Falconer's " Dictionary of the Marine"; Smyth's " Sailor's Word- 
Book"; "Dictionary of Science, Literature and Art" (Brande 
and Cox) ; " The Boating-man's Vade-Mecum " (Winn) ; "Boat- 
sailing for Amateurs" (Davies). To these and other authorities 
I must acknowledge my indebtedness. And, in conclusion, I must 
fulfil a promise in dedicating my work to my two children, who, 
at the ages of seven and eight, are already handy in a boat and 
familiar with a great number of the terms I have endeavoured to 


September, 1897. 



A. — The highest class under which vessels are registered at 
Lloyd's. It is sub-divided into A 1 and A 2. 

a'. — An Anglo-Saxonism for "on" or "in." It is in constant 
use at sea, as in a'back, a'board, a* stern, etc. 

A.B. — The initial letters of the words able-bodied. A full or 
first-class seaman, commonly called an able seaman, is classed A.B. 

A'back. — Spoken of the sails when laid flat against a mast, 
either by a sudden change of wind, or, in some instances, they may 
be laid aback for some special purpose. (See Back.) 

A'baft.— Behind or towards the stern of a vessel. Thus, " abaft 
the funnel," so frequently seen on board pleasure steam boats, will 
mean " behind the funnel." 

A'beani. — On the side of a vessel, amidships. Thus " wind 
a'beam, " or " wind on the beam," will mean wind at right angles to 
the vessel. (See Wind.) 

A'board, or on board.— On, or in, a vessel. 

About. — A turning round. 

To go about. — To turn a vessel round, in sailing, on to another 
tack or direction. (See Tack.) 

Above board. — Above deck. Hence the expression in every- 
day use, meaning " honest," " fair," or " in the light of day." 

A'box. — An old term used in vjearing a ship. It means to lay 
the ship a'back, and thus to box her ojf. 

Accnl (old term). — Spoken of a deep bight or bay which ends as 
a eul de sac. 

Acker. — An eddy or rising tide. (See Eagre and Bore.) 

Ackmen. — An old name for freshwater thieves. 

A'cock-bill. — Spoken of a ship's anchor, when hanging out with 
the flukes extended in a position ready for dropping. In most har- 
bours vessels are prohibited from carrying the anchor thus. 



Acorn. — An ornament at the head of a mast fashioned in the 
shape of an acorn. 

A' drift. — Anything which floats unfastened, as a hoat or a spar, 
which may have broken away, or a ship which has parted from her 

A'float. — Floating on the water. Off the ground. 
Aft. — Behind : towards the after or stern part of a vessel, or it may 
be behind the vessel itself : thus a boat may be said to be towed aft. 
After-part. — The hinder part. Thus a steersman may, accord- 
ing to the position of the wheel, stand amidships, or in the after 
part of the vessel. So also the after cabin will be the cabin nearest 
the stern. (See also A'baft.) 

A'grotmd. — Resting on the ground, often spoken of a vessel 
which has accidentally run aground, or as it is sometimes said, 
taken the ground. (See GROUND.) 
A'head. — In front of. Before. 

Wind ahead. — Wind directly against the course of a vessel. 
A'hull.—" The situation of a ship when all her sails are furled, 
and her helm lashed on the lee-side ; she then lies nearly with her 
side to the wind and sea, her head somewhat turned towards the 
direction of the wind." (Falconer's Dictionary.) A deserted 
vessel is also occasionally called a'hull. (See also under Trying.) 

A'lee. — The situation of the helm when pushed close down to 
the lee-side of the ship, in order to put the ship about, or to lay her 
head to the windward. 

All hands. All hands ahoy (" tout le motide en haut -." 
Fr.) (at sea). — The call by which all hands are ordered on deck 
whether it be, as in a ship, to execute some necessary change, or, as 
with fishermen, to haul a net. 

All in the wind. — An expression used to describe the position 
of a vessel when head to wind (i.e., pointing directly against 
the wind), with all her sails flapping. (See also " in irons, " under 
Iron, "in stays," etc., under Tack.) The term is also sometimes 
used in everyday conversation, meaning " all in a flurry." 

All told. — Every person counted. The term has usual reference 
to a ship's crew, when it will include the idlers, etc., but not 
passengers. Thus a ship may have a crew of 20, but be 23 all 
told — that is including cook, carpenter, and steward. 

Aloft (Loffter, Dan.). — Up in the tops: overhead. In the 
upper rigging, or on the yards, etc. 

Lay aloft. — The order to go aloft, as "lay aloft and furl the 
royals. " 
Alongside.— By the side of. 

Aloof (old term). — To keep aloof, i.e., to keep the luff— i.e., up 
to the wind. (See Luff.) 

A'low. — Low down. Below, or below deck. 

Amain. — Suddenly : forcibly. To let go amain, to let go suddenly. 


Amateur.-In sporting language one who takes up an occupa- 
tionTonSsure-not for money In rowing the meaning is some- 
what restricted. [See also under Corinthian.) At Henley 1870 
the following definition of an amateur was adopted. No person 

shall he considered an amateur oarsman or sculler :- 1- W*> has 
ever competed in any open competition for a stake, money, or 
entranc^ee- 2. Who has ever competed with or against a pro- 
festal for any prize; 3. Who has ever taught, pursued, or 
aSsted in the prLtice of athletic exercises of any kind as a 
means of gaining a livelihood ; 4. Who has been employee 
iu or about boats for money or wages; 5. Who is or Has 
been by trade or employment for wages, a mechanic, artisan, or 

labourer " - e 

Amidships.-Generally speaking, the middle portion of a 
ve^el The point of intersection of two lines, one drawn from stem 
to Ttern, the P other across the beam (or widest part), will be the 
actual midships. 

Anchor.— The form and parts of an 
anchor are as follow :— A is the shank B 
the arms, terminating in the flukes (C), 
the extremities of which (D) are called 
the bills or peaks, while the smooth flat 
side of the fluke (E) is the palm, t 
is the crown, and G the throat, I he 
stock or beam (H) crosses the lower part 
of the shank at right angles, and in a 
plane at right angles to the plane of the 
arms: J is the shoulder of the stock. K 
is the rinc, to which the cable is bent or 
the chaiu°shackled (L). (For the manner 
of bending— i.e., attaching a rope to this 

ring, see Knots.) The ring hangs in the 
eye The stock of an anchor is the agent 

which brings the flukes into a position 

to hold the ground. In doing this it 

has often to sustain great strains, and is, 

most liable to injury. For this reason a stout stock is to be 

recommended. It has been said that the sectional area at the 

smallest part of an anchor should be three times that of the cable 
To drop, let go, or cast anchor, are terms equivalent to comity to 

aH To C wdffh anchor is to get the anchor up preparatory to getting 
under sail This is done by first heaving short— i.e., hauling upon 
the cable 'until the vessel is nearly over her anchor, which 
brings the anchor «W- that is standing on its crown. When 
the anchor is once lifted from the ground it is said to be a weigh, 
weighed or a'trip : when it reaches the surface of the water it is 
«WA. The ship being now free is said to be under weigh (not 
under way, for xcay means momentum), and the vessel may be under 


therefore, the part 


weigh without having way; she is, in point of fact, under iveigk 
from the moment her anchor is weighed. (See also under Way 
and Weigh. ) 

Catting the anchor is getting it up to the cathead. When it has 
been stowed on the bill-board it is said to be fished, and the tackle 
by which this is done is called the fish-tackle. 

Anchor a' peak denotes that the cable has been drawn in so short 
as to bring the ship directly over it. 

Anchor cock-a-bill is a term used to signify that the anchor hangs, 
merely by its cable, over the vessel's side, with the stock or flukes 
extended, just above the water. This, in the London river and in 
many other havens, is prohibited by law. 

If the anchor holds the ground well it is said to bite. Should it 
drag it is said to come home. But at the same time to fetch home or 
bring home the anchor is to draw the ship closer up to it, for the 
purpose, perhaps, of weighing it. 

When the cable becomes twisted round the shank or stock, or 
entangled wdth it in any way, it is called folding. 

To shoe the anchor " is to cover the flukes with a broad triangular 
piece of thick plank, whose area is greater than that of the flukes, 
in order to give the anchor a stronger hold in soft ground. " 

To back an ancho?; " to carry out a small anchor, as the stream 
or kedge, ahead of the large one by which the ship usually rides, in 
order to support it, and prevent it from loosening, or coming home, in 
bad ground. In this situation the latter is confined by the former, 
in the same manner that the ship is restrained by the latter." 
(Falconer's Dictionary. ) A weight is sometimes used as a substitute 
for the smaller anchor. 

Large vessels carry several anchors, often one on each bow, called, 
in consequence, bower anchors. Other large ones are known as sheet, 
stream, stern, toaist and spare anchors, and besides these they have 
small ones called kedges (or kedge anchors), killicks or mudhooks. 
The sheet-anchor, the largest and most powerful carried by a ship, 
is popularly supposed to be used only in emer- 
gency or as a last resource ; and hence the use 
of the term in this sense in general conversa- 
tion. Kedges are smaller anchors carried by a 
ship and used by her for various purposes, such 
as when swinging her, or when moving from 
one station to another only a short distance 
away : they are also valuable in case of the 
vessel taking the ground. 

A grapnel is a species of anchor having several 
flukes, and without a stock. It is used in 
dragging, and was one of the boarding imple- 
ments in old naval warfare. Grapnel. 

Anchors nowadays are of various forms, 
such as stockless, folding, grip, triple grip, mushroom, and others. 
Tyzack's patent is both stockless and triple-grip, and claims to 


and tkiple-okip. 

combine the best principles of good holding anchors with a direct 
pull upon the cable: it may often be seen in first -class ships. 
Ridley's and Wright's patents are also 
stockless, with movable grip. Porter's 
patent (an older type of improved anchor) 
retains the stock, being in form of the 
ordinary pattern, but having movable 
arms, secured, when in use, by a small fore- 
lock pin. In fact nearly all anchors now- 
adays are either without a stock or have it 

The mushroom anchor — so named on 
account of its shape (see fig.) — is employed 
by large ships on mud or other soft bottoms, 
where it obtains a hold far more secure 
than any other form. 

The objects in all these anchors (beyond 
the system of gripping) are to lessen the risks of fouling, and to 
present no fluke above ground against which, in shallow places, a 
vessel might strike. The usual method 
of working the anchor cable in small 
craft is to take two or three turns with 
it round the windlass (i.e., just sufficient 
to get a certain bite), and then to pass 
the rest of the chain through an aper- 
ture in the deck, made for the purpose, 
and thus down to the chain locker. 

Anchorage. — The ground in which the anchor is cast. Thus 
one may find good anchorage or bad, the good being that in which 
the vessel will ride safely, the bad that in which the anchor will be 
likely to drag. Yet it is not always the nature of the soil which 
constitutes good anchorage ; currents or the run of the tide always 
have much to do with it. Land-locked bays, therefore, and positions 
well out of the tide, will form the best anchorage. The term an- 
chorage is also occasionally used to denote those dues which are paid 
by vessels for the privilege of casting anchor in certain harbours. 

Anemometer. — An instrument for measuring the force or velo- 
city of the wind. The anemometer most generally used is one devised 
by Dr. Robinson, and made by Casella, who also elaborated and modi- 
fied Robinson's instrument and produced one of great accuracy. 

Aneroid. — An instrument answering to the barometer, but 
acting by the pressure of the atmosphere upon thin metallic plates. 
Its general form resembles that of a watch. The aneroid is fre- 
quently used at sea to obtain meteorological readings, although 
amongst scientific men it is hardly considered a reliable agent. 
" This instrument has never been satisfactorily employed on board 
ship. There is great difficulty in placing it where it shall not be 
exposed to draughts of air, and if it be placed high above the deck 

Mushroom Anchor. 


its indications are affected by rolling and the other motions of the 
ship." (R. H. Scott, M.A., F.R.S., Secretary of the Meteorological 
Office.) Yachtsmen, however, are seldom without an aneroid. 

A'peak. — Spoken of the position of an anchor when a vessel is 
hove-short above it. (See Anchor. ) 

Apparently drowned. — For directions for restoring, see 

Apron, stemson, or stomach-niece.— l. (In shipbuild- 
ing.) A backing or strengthening timber behind the stern-post 
of a vessel. (See diagram under Frame.) 2. (In hydraulic 
engineering.) The enclosure of timber, brick, or stone at the 
down side of a lock is sometimes called the apron wall. 

Arching. — Another name for hogging (tohich see). 

Ardent. — A vessel is described as ardent when , her tendency being 
to run up into the wind, she carries a good weather helm (which see). 

Ashore. — On terra firma. A vessel aground is sometimes 
spoken of as "ashore." (See Ground.) 

Astay. — In line with a stay, or with the fore stay. 

Astern. — Behind. In the after part of a vessel ; behind the 
vessel ; in her wake. 

Go astern. — Go sternwards : or, with a steam boat, an order to 
work her backwards. 

Athwart, athwartships. — Across. Hence the rowers' seats 
in an open boat are called " thwarts " because they lie athwart, or 
across the boat. 

To drop athwart anything. — To come across it ; to find it. 

Athwart hawse. — Within the length of a vessel's cable. (The 
term is explained under HAWSE.) 

A 'trip. — 1. Spoken of an anchor when it is just off the ground 
or a'lveign. (.See ANCHOR.) 2. (Of sails.) When the sails are ready 
for trimming. 

Austral. — Southern. 

Avast. — The order to stop or pause in any exercise ; as " avast 
heaving. " 

Awash. — Being under or washed over by water, as the lee gunwale 
of a yacht or decked sailing boat may be when she lies much over. 

Anchor awash. — When, in weighing the anchor, it reaches the 
surface of the water, it is said to be awash. 

Away. — Gone : having let anything go : free. 

Carried away. — Broken away ; as to cany away a topmast — i.e., 
to suffer the loss of the topmast. 

A" weather. — Towards the weather side — i.e., the side upon which 
the wind blows. 

Helm a? weather. — The helm put up. (See Helm.) 

A'weigh. — Spoken of an anchor when it has been lifted from 
the ground. 

A'wheft. — Said of a flag when stopped so as to represent a wheft. 


Awning. — A canvas covering acting as a roof or tent. 

Aye {adv., perhaps from ajo, Lat. (defective verb), to say yes). — 
Yes, and is always used in lieu thereof at sea, with a repetition, 
"Aye, aye, sir," meaning "I understand; and will execute the 
order. " 


Back. — With sailing ships. — To back is to haul the sails over to 
windward. In square rigged vessels this is only done on special oc- 
casions, when it is called laying the sails aback. In small craft the 
practice is more frequent, and especially with boats which are slow 
in stays, (i.e., in coming round, in tacking), as those of much length 
often are. By holding a foresail or a jib over to the weather side 
(the side upon which the wind is blowing) the boat's head will be 
thrown off, or away from the wind, and she will often come round ; 
this is called boxing off her head. But by holding the boom of the 
main or mizzen sail to windward, her stern will be thrown off ; and 
this, properly speaking, is back-sailing, which is, as it were, the op- 
posite to boxing off ; although, in many instances, it answers the 
same purpose. (See Boxing off.) 

With steam vessels. — " Back her " is an order to reverse engines, 
so that the ship may be suddenly stopped or made to go astern. 

In rowing, to back, or backwater, is to stop the progress of a boat 
suddenly, or to drive her backwards, by pushing the oars in the 
direction contrary to that employed in ordinaiy rowing. 

Back and fill. — A term used of a vessel when, in a narrow 
channel, with the wind against her, but with a favourable tide, 
she allows herself to be carried on the tide, keeping in the stream 
by alternately filling her sails and laying them aback. 

To back an anchor. — To add a smaller anchor, or a weight, to 
a large one to prevent its coming home, i. e. , dragging. (See ANCHOR. ) 

Back-board or backrail. — In skiffs, the framing or rail round 
the after thwart, making this a comfortable seat for coxswain and 
passengers. It is sometimes of iron, and sometimes of mahogany 
and cane work. 

Back-rope (in ships). — The rope which stays the dolphin striker. It 
is, properly speaking, the pendant of the tackle which sets up the 
dolphin striker, and it is usually of chain. 

Back-stays. — Ropes stretched from a mast or topmast head 
to the sides of a vessel — some way aft of the mast — to give 
extra support to the masts against going forward. In smaller 
craft they are usually passed over the head of the mast, above 
the shrouds, and terminate with tackles. There are back-stays 
and topmast back-stays, named according to the mast they support, 
the term " back-stays " without further specification usually mean- 
ing those of the lower mast. The topmast back-stays are so 
arranged that they may be slackened off as the boom swings 
over ; for their position is such that unless slackened the boom and 
sail would foul them. It is evident, therefore, that if the boat 


be tacking - about, these topmast back-stays must be continually 
shifted, for which reason they are often called shifting back- 
stays ; or that if she be running before the wind they must be run 
right out, so as to let the boom lay over; and consequently these 
shifting stays may just as well be, and often are, called runners, 
and sometimes travellers. In small boats, however, and those to 
be worked single-handed, this continual shifting of stays is found 
to be very awkward, while the mast is so short as hardly to require 
their support, except in the case of racing ; and on this account they 
are generally dispensed with. In ships, the back-stays being more 
numerous, the forward ones are called breast backstays, and sustain the 
mast when the wind is before the beam, while the after ones maybe 
shifted from side to side, as required, and constitute the travellers. 

Backing of the wind. — The veering of the wind in the 
direction opposite to that of the sun's circuit. Winds may 
continue veering in the direction of the sun for several days 
together, circling the compass several times ; but the opposite 
to this, called backing, seldom, if ever, completes the circle. 
Backing generally prognosticates unsettled weather. 

Backwater. (In rowing, see Back.) — A backwater is a small 
stream or ditch behind a river wall ; it takes the drainage of the 
country round, which has been cut off from the natural drainage of 
the river by the construction of the wall. The backwater therefore 
communicates with the river, either by pipes or at certain intervals 
by sluices. 

Baffle. — To baffle with the wind is to contend against it, as 
when beating to windward in veiy foul weather. {See Tack. ) 
. Baffling winds are those which frequently shift. 

Bag-reef (in square sails). — An extra reef band (band of canvas) on 
a sail, the most general use of which is to prevent the sail from bagging. 
Balance-lug.— {See Lug.) 

Balance-reef (of a gaff-sail). — A reef band (that is a band of 
canvas) sewed diagonally across the sail from the highest reef 
cringle of the after leech to the throat earing. It alloAvs the sail to 
be so reefed that either the peak or the lower half only may be set. 
But it is rarely seen. 

Bale, baler. — To bale or bale out is to remove water from an 
open boat by means of a baler, which may be any small vessel 
capable of holding water, such as a hand bowl or an old tin pot. 
The baler is occasionally dignified by the name of the kit. 

Ball, or ball off. — To twist rope yarns into balls. 

Ballast. — " Weight deposited in a ship's hold when she has no 
cargo, or too little to bring her sufficiently low in the water. It is 
used to counterbalance the effect of the wind upon the masts, and 
give the ship a proper stability, that she may be enabled to carry 
sail without danger of upsetting. To ballast a ship, therefore, is 
the art of disposing those materials so that she may be duly poised 


and maintain a proper equilibrium on the water, so as neither to be 
too stiff nor too crank, qualities equally pernicious : as in the first, 
although the ship may be fitted to carry a great sail, yet her velocity 
Mill not be proportionately increased, whilst her masts are more 
endangered by her sudden jerks and excessive labouring : and, in 
the last, she will be incapable of carrying sail without the risk of 
upsetting. Stiffness in ballasting is occasioned by disposing a great 
quantity of heavy ballast, as lead, iron, etc., in the bottom, which 
naturally places the centre of gravity very near the keel ; and that 
being the centre about which the vibrations are made, the lower it is 
placed the more violent will be the motion of rolling. Crankness, 
on the other hand, is occasioned by lading so as to raise the 
centre of gravity too high, which also endangers the mast in carry- 
ing sail when it blows hard : for when the masts lose their perpen- 
dicular height, they strain on the shrouds in the nature of a lever, 
which increases the size of their obliquity ; and a ship that loses 
her masts is in great danger of being lost. The whole art of 
ballasting, therefore, consists in placing the centre of gravity to 
correspond with the trim and shape of the vessel, so as neither 
to be too high nor too low, too far forward nor too far aft ; 
and to lade the ship so deep, that the surface of the water may 
nearly rise to the extreme breadth amidships ; and thus she will 
be enabled to cany a good sail, incline but little, and ply well 
to the windward." (Falconer's "Dictionary of the Marine.") 

Ballast. — "Weighty material placed in the bottom of a ship or 
vessel, to give her stiffness ; that is, to increase her tendency to 
return to the upright position when inclined or heeled over by the 
force of the wind or other 
cause. " (Brande and Cox. ) 
Small craft may be bal- 
lasted with either iron 
(usually cast), lead, zinc, 
or bags of shot. Beach- 
ing boats often carry bags 
which are filled with shin- 
gle or sand as may be re- 
quired : the sand is found, 
by absorbing a great quan- 
tity of water, to swell some- 
times to so great an ex- 
tent as to burst the bags, 
which should not therefore 
be too full of this ma- 
terial. Certain boats, 
more particularly those 
belonging to the Navy, 
are fitted with tanks filled 
with fresh water ; and as 
this fresh water is with- 

A> Balloon Canvas 

(See next page). 


Balloon jib. 
Balloon foresail. 
Jack topsail. 

B. Rl'.N.MNG. 

5. Mainsail. 


Big topsail. 



drawn for use, salt water can take its place in the tank. 
The cheapest form of hallast for boats (next to shingle) is cast 
iron, which should he painted ; the most expensive, and best, is 
shot in bags, which lies flat, and absorbs no moisture. A free 
waterway should be left under all ballast. 

Balloon canvas, or press canvas. — The extra spread of canvas 
(i.e., sail) used by yachts in racing. Thus a large cutter may carry, 
besides her ordinary sails, balloon jib, balloon foresail, spinnaker, 
ringsail (or studsail), big topsail, according to the weather and the 
courses she makes. (See diagram on preceding page.) 

Bank (of oars). — Single and double. — (From the French word 
banc, a bench. ) The origin of this word will indicate the meaning 
of the terms single banked and double banked. A single banked 
boat is one in which only one rower sits on each thwart (seat) ; a 
double banked boat one in which two men occupy each seat with an 
oar out each side, as is often the case in the Royal Navy. 
Bank. — An elevation of the bottom of the sea. 
Banker. — A vessel employed in the cod fishery, on the Banks of 


Bar (of a harbour). 
— A shoal or bank of 

sand, gravel, etc. ; 

thrown up by the 

opposite action of the 

sea and river at the 

mouth of a river. 
Barepoles. — The 

masts, yards, etc., of 

a vessel without the 


Sailing or scudding 

under bare poles.— 

Sailing or running 

before a gale without 

any sails set. (See 


Barge.— "A gen- 
eral name given to 

flat-bottomed craft." 

In ancient times the 

name was also given 

to large boats of state 

or pleasure, and in 

later days to one of 

the boats of a man-of- 
war. The barges of to- -- - ~* r ~~-^ '3£q _J/ 

day are of various de- 
scriptions, being either Topsail Barges. 



<,-«. «?? 

Canal Baugk. 

sea-going, river, or canal. But lighters, hoys, and other carrying 
craft on rivers are also indiscriminately comprehended under 
the name of harge. The sailing harge is particularly to be 
distinguished from other 
craft by being sprit 
rigged — i.e., by having 
a sprit-sail as a main- 
sail (see Sprit), and 
by a very small mizzen 
sail, sometimes called 
the jigger, the mast 
and sheet of which are 
often fixed to the rud- 
der, and the use of 
which sail is to aid the 
action of the rudder 
(with which it works) 
in getting the long 
hull about when tack- 
ing. The hull is very 
long, wall - sided, flat- 
bottomed, and lies very 
deep in the water ; and, 

almost the whole of the interior being devoted to cargo, the mast is 
sometimes fixed on deck in a framework called the tabernacle. The 
class is sub-divided into two rigs, viz. : — 1. The topsail barge — that 
is one carrying a topsail, and this is the sea -going barge; and 
2. The river or Medway barge, which carries no topsail and is there- 
fore rigged with only a pole main mast. Both of these carry the 
sprit-main-sail and the small mizzen either attached to or working 
with the rudder, the principle of which is well worthy of study, and 
which has sometimes been applied to pleasure boats. These vessels, 
in common with other flat-bottomed craft, have lee-boards (tohich 
see) ; they sail rapidly in a fresh breeze, very close to the wind, 
and can face almost any weather, with the seas washing over 
them from end to end. 

Barge-pole. — A long pole used 
on board a barge, for pushing any 
object off her, or for holding on 
by, to a quay or wharf, for which 
latter purpose it is sometimes fur- 
nished with a hook. (See Quant. ) 
Bark, barkentine. — Bark. 
— Generally speaking a three- 
masted vessel square - rigged on 
the fore and main masts and fore-and-aft rigged on the mizzen. 
The following definition is given by Denham Robinson : — " Bark 
or barque (Low Lat., barca). A term applied rather vaguely to 
square-rigged merchant vessels. A bark has three masts which do 



not rake ; but beyond this there appears to be no special mark 
to distinguish it from any other large merchantman. A bark, 
however, is never a steamer." But among coasters the bark is 
distinguished from the barkentine, 
a merchant vessel having three 
masts, the foremast square-rigged 
like the bark, but the main and 
mizzen masts fore-and-aft rigged. 
These are occasionally called three- 
masted schooners or jackass rig ; 
but here again a distinction must 
be made, the barkentine having 
a brig foremast (i.e., foremast, 

fore-topmast, and fore-top-gallant), Barkentine. 

while the three - masted schooner 

has the schooner foremast (foremast and fore-top-mast only). (See 
also under Schooner.) 

Barnacles. — " Most probably from the late Latin pernacula, 
diminutive of perna, a ham, from a supposed resemblance to a leg of 
pork." (Brande and Cox.) A general term amongst sea- faring men 
for any of those shelled animals of the division mollusca which fix 
themselves to the bottoms of boats, the piles of piers, quays, etc., 
under water, and more especially at the water bine or between high 
and low water marks. It is found that there are certain metals, 
copper in particular, to which these creatures have an objection to 
fix themselves, in consequence of which fact wooden vessels are 
copper-bottomed. (See Copper.) There are also certain paints 
which profess to answer the same purpose as copper. 

Barometer. — A well-known instrument, invented by Torricelli, 
for measuring the weight or pressure of the atmosphere. Whatever 
tends to inci-ease or diminish this pressure will cause the barometer 
to rise or fall. Hence the barometer is a foreteller of wind rather 
than of wet or dry. 

Basin. — A dock in which vessels float at any state of the tide. 
Batten. — Battens are long strips of wood used for various pur- 

To batten down. — To cover up and fix down — usually spoken of 
hatches when they are covered over with canvas, and this canvas 
is held down with long battens. 

Battened sails. — Sails across which light battens (often of bamboo) 
are laid. Their use may be said to be three-fold— rFirstly, they 
assist in keeping sails flat, thereby increasing the speed of a boat ; 
secondly, they simplify the process of reefing ; and thirdly, they 
enable sail to be struck (dropped) with considerable rapidity. (See 
fig. under Canoe.) In England, battens are applied, as a rule, 
only to the sails of boats or small craft ; but in the east, where 
the practice appears to have originated, they are employed in 
large sailing ships, and are found to be of great service where 



Thames Bawley. 

squalls come down very suddenly and with great severity. Various 
systems of reefing these sails have heen tried of late years, some 
consisting of elaborate systems of tackles for drawing the battens 
together. These, however, are tilings rather of play : their great 
drawback lies in their liability to 
entanglement ; and as it is always 
possible that such an event might 
take place at a critical moment, be- 
ginners are recommended to have but 
little to do with them until suffi- 
ciently experienced to take the con- 
sequence of mishap. 

Baulks. — Heavy pieces of timber, 
such as piles before erection, etc. 
Brackets, in almost any position, 
holding two or more timbers to- 
gether, or preventing them from 

Bawley. — The name given to a 
class of fishing smack common to 
the Thames below Gravesend. These 
craft are often clincher built with 
bluff-bows ; cutter rigged, with a 
trysail (mainsail without boom), and 

very generally carry a jib-topsail. They are exceedingly stiff ; 
good weather boats ; and are employed in the whitebait, sprat, 
and shrimp fisheries, etc. 

Beach. — The margin of the land exposed to tidal action. 

Beaching boats. — The act of running them up on a beach : when 
up they are said to be beached. It is not an easy matter to beacli 
a boat in a heavy sea, the rudder becoming, as the boat approaches 
the shore, of less and less use : everything depends, therefore, 
upon the oars. As a rule it is dangerous to go in on a big wave : 
experience will soon convince the beginner that the advice to do 
so (except it comes from a " long-shore " man) may, if blindly 
followed, lead to unpleasant consequences. The small waves float 
the boat longest and more evenly, and are better to come in upon. 
Pull hard as the boat descends, lighter in the hollow of the wave, 
and easy on the top. 

Beach boats are those which are kept on the beach. They are built 
to take the beach, and are far more useful in their situation than 
any strange ones can be. A good beach boat is one which takes the 
beach well and is easily got off it. Beaching boats, when their 
form admits of it, is a good practice ; it increases their length of 
life. When beached for any length of time, however, they should 
occasionally be half filled with water to keep their strakes swelled. 

Beacon. — A landmark put up to steer by. A pole marking out 
a shoal or a channel. 


Beak, beak-head. — The beak is the extreme fore-part of a 
vessel. "The beak-head, in large vessels with figure-heads, is the 
small platform between the figure-head and the bulwarks of the 
forecastle. It is secluded from the view of the deck, and 
contains the latrines of the crew." This will be recognised on 
old ships. 

Beam. — The width of a vessel, at her widest part : the term is 
derived from the beams, strong timbers extending across the ship, 
supporting the decks and strengthening the sides, and the widest 
of these will, of course, be the width of the vessel inside. But by 
the beam, meaning width, is now always understood to be 
the outside measurement. In nautical language, a wide 
vessel is said to have more beam than a narrow one ; and, in 
bike manner, a boat with plenty of beam (width) is described 
as beamy. 

Beam ends.— A. ship thrown completely upon her side is said to be 
on her beam ends, when her masts may have to be cut away before 
she can be righted. Hence, a person who, either in posture or in 
business, has very nearly over-reached the centre of gravity, may be 
said to be on Ms beam ends. 

A'beam. — An object seen across the middle of the ship is spoken 
of as a'beam. If the wind blow directly upon the side of the ship 
she is sailing with the wind a'beam: if it lies in a direction between 
the beam and the quarter, she has the wind abaft the beam and is 
said to be sailing free, or large or going free. 

" Beak-arm, or fork-beam. — A forked piece of timber, nearly of 
the depth of the beam, scarfed, tabled, and l>olted, for additional 
security, to the sides of beams athwart large openings in decks, as 
the main hatchway and the mast- rooms. 

" Breast-beams are those beams at the forepart of the quarter-deck 
and round-house, and after-part of the forecastle. They are sided 
larger than the rest, as they have an ornamental rail in the front, 
formed from the solid, and a rabbet one inch broader than its depth, 
which must be sufficient to buiy the deals of the deck, and one inch 
above for a spurn-water. To prevent splitting the beam in the 
rabbet, the nails of the deck should be crossed, or so placed, alter- 
nately, as to form a sort of zigzag line. 

" Cat-beam, or beak-head beam. — This is the broadest beam in a 
ship, generally made in two breadths, tabled and bolted together. 
The foreside is placed far enough forward to receive the heads of 
the stanchions of the beak-head bulk-head. 

" The collar-beam is the beam upon which the stanchions 
of the beak-head bulk-head stand. The upper side of it is kept 
well with the upper side of the upper deck port-sills, and lets 
down upon the spirketing at the side. But its casting over the 
bowsprit in the middle giving it a form which in timber is not 
to be obtained without difficulty, a framing of two large carlings 
and a stanchion on each side of the bowsprit is now generally sub- 
stituted in its place. 


" Half -beams are short beams introduced to support the deck where 
there is no framing, as in those places where the beams are kept 
asunder by hatchways, ladder-ways, etc. They are let down on the 
clamp at the side, and near midships into fore-and-aft carlings. On 
some decks they are, abaft the mizzenmast, generally of fir, let into 
the side tier of carlings. 

" The midship-beam is the longest beam of the ship, lodged in the 
midship frame, or between the widest frame of timbers. 

" Palleting -beams are those beams under the flat of the magazine, 
bread-room, and powder-room, where there is a double palleting. 
The upper tier are of fir, and rabbets are taken out of their edge to 
form scuttles. " (James Greenwood, B. A., "Rudimentary Treatise 
on Navigation," 1850.) 

" Orlop-beams. — Those beams which support the orlop-deck, but 
are chiefly intended to fortify the hold. " 

Beam of an anchor. — The stock. (See Anchor.) 

Bear. — Bear away, bear up. — If, after being close-hauled, the 
helm of the vessel be put up (i.e., towards the windward side) and 
the sheets be eased off, by which actions the vessel will be made to 
sail more or less before the wind, she is said to be bearing away. 
Orders to bear up, or to bear away, mean practically, therefore, the 
same thing, viz., to put the helm up. (See under Helm.) 

Bear down. — To go towards. This term has not of necessity 
any reference to the direction in which the tiller is to be thrust. 
It is understood, however, that the vessel which bears down upon 
another, or upon some object, is situated to windward of that 
object, and, therefore, has the advantage of it. If, for instance, 
we are told that a large ship is bearing down upon us, we instinctively 
look to the windward side. 

Bear off. — Usually an order, as " bear off that cask " — meaning 
keep it off. 

Bear a hand. — Usually an appeal for assistance, and that 

Bearding. — The fore-part of a rudder. (See Rudder.) 

Bearers.— (See Flat-floors.) 

Bearings. — The word " bearing " properly belongs to the 
art of navigation, in which it signifies " the direction, or angular 
distance from the meridian, in which an object is seen. " Roughly 
speaking, it is the direction in which an object is seen from a vessel, 
as to say that," the point of land bore N.E.," meaning that it was 
seen from the vessel in a north-easterly direction. Thus to keep one's 
bearings is to keep a certain point in view in the same direction. 
To be out of one's bearings, to be travelling in a wrong direction. 
To lose one's bearings, to lose one's way, as it were, upon the 

Beat (in sailing). — Beating, beating up, beating to windward ; 
also called working to windward, pegging to windward, and some- 
times tacking, is making progress against the wind (and, therefore, 



close-hauled) l>y a zigzag course, with the wind first on one bow and 
then on the other. 

Becalmed.— To be becalmed is to be left without a wind, and 
therefore, in a sailing ship, to be without power of moving. But we 
hear of vessels of considerable burden making habitual use of sweeps 
(large oars), when becalmed, so lately as the early part of the 
present century ; and with some foreigners it is still the practice. 

Becket. — An eye in the end of a rope : it is often used in 
connection with a toggle. (Sec TOGGLE AND Becket.) Falconer 
gives the following definition of beckets : "Anything used to confine 
loose ropes, tackles, oars, or spars, in a convenient place : hence, 
beckets are either large hooks, or short pieces 
of rope, with a knot on one end and an eye in 
the other, or formed bike a circular wreath ; 
or they are wooden brackets, and, probably, 
from a corruption and misapplication of this 
last term, arose the word becket, which seems 
often to be confounded with bracket." The 
word beckets, in naval phraseology, is some- 
times used for pockets, thus, " Hands out of 
beckets, sir ! " 

To becket the helm. — To lash down the tiller 
of a boat so that it may not sway about when 
she is at anchor, or at her moorings. (See also 
Lash the Tiller.) 

Becueing. — A method of attaching a line 
to a small anchor or grapnel, so that in case 
the grapnel should become fixed under some 
rock, a strong pull will break the seizing 
(called the stopper), and enable the flukes 
to be drawn upwards. The manner in which 
this becueing is done will best be understood by reference to the 
engraving. It is much employed by crabmenand others w r orking on 
rocky parts of the coast. 

Bed of the bowsprit. — That part of the beak of a large 
vessel, or the deck on a small one, in which the lower part of the 
bowsprit lies. 

Bees. — Pieces of plank bolted to the upper end of the bowsprit 
in a large vessel. 

Before. — Forward, or in front of; more usually expressed 
a? fore. 

Before the mast. — The lodgment of working seamen on ship- 
board, as distinguisliing them from the officers, who lodge aft. 
Hence a man who goes as seaman is said to go before the mast. 

Belay. — To make fast a rope (that rope being, generally, part 
of the limning rigging, as a fall), by twisting it round (in the 
manner of a figure of 8) a cleat, kevel or belaying -pin, without tyin-- 
it into a knot. 



Belaying pin. — A pin or bolt of wood, galvanised iron, or of gun 
metal, placed in a convenient spot for the belaying of a halyard. 
In sailing ships the principal belaying pins are just by the shrouds, 
as all halyards lead here, but in small fore-and-aft rigged vessels 
they are placed around the masts. 

Bellows. — A fresh hand at the bellows. — An expression often 
made use of to express that the wind has become fresher. 

Bells. — On shipboard, bells express the time, and are struck by the 
officer of the watch. The bells are struck every half-hour. The 
day of 12 hours is divided into three, thus : — 1. Noon to four o'clock. 
2. Four o'clock to eight o'clock. 3. Eight o'clock to midnight — 
and the same at night. Thus in every tour hours there will be 8 
bells — viz., at noon, four o'clock, eight o'clock, and midnight; but 
in the dog watches, these being only of two hours' duration each, 
there will be but 4 bells. 

Fog bells. — Eveiy sailing ship and steam vessel is obliged to supply 
itself with a bell, called the fog bell, to be sounded while the ship 
lies at anchor in a fog, at intervals of not less than two minutes. 

Bell buoys. — Buoys placed at the entrance to certain harbours 
to mark the bar, or some shoal, and furnished with a bell. 

Belly (of sails).— (See Bunt.) 

Belly bands (of sails). — Strips or bands of canvas sewed across 
large sails about half way between the close- reef and the foot, to 
prevent them from bellying ; for it is found that , after a time, all sails 
will belly, partly on account of the canvas stretching, but mainly 
because the edges, being strengthened with extra stuff and bolt 
ropes, are stiffer than the bunt. 

Belly guy. — A guy (rope) or support in the middle, or belly of 

Below. — Low down ; below deck ; or under water. 

Benches.— The after thwarts, or seats, in large open boats are 
sometimes called the benches, and those extending along the sides, 

Bend. — 1. (Of a rope). — The bent portion (see Bight), and hence 
the name of a knot, as the carrick bend, common bend, etc. 
(See KNOTS). From this — To bend becomes a general sea term for 
fastening anything, as to bend one rope to another, a sail to a yard 
or gaff, the anchor to its cable, etc. 

2. To bend (in sailing) is to lie over under press of canvas. 

Bends or wales, in ship building, are the thickest planks in the sides 
of a wooden ship, giving to it its chief strength. They are reckoned 
from the water upwards, being distinguished as the first, second or third 
bend, and they have the beams and upper f idiocies bolted to them. 

Bent timbers or bent heads. — These, in a small boat, correspond 
to the ribs in a larger vessel. Each is usually of one piece, steamed 

| lient into the shape of the boat ; and the strakes (or planking) 
^ured to them. They are also called heads, meaning bent-heads. 



Bent on a splice. — A sailor's manner of expressing that some person 
is bent upon getting married. 

Beneap. — If a vessel should run aground towards high water, 
during the last of the spring, or big tides, she may possibly have to 
lie there until the following spring tides float her off : in this con- 
dition she is said to be beneaped, because the neap tides are not high 
enough to float her. The situation may be serious, since, during a 
whole fortnight, there is time for any changes in the weather, and in 
the event of a gale rising, the vessel might become a wreck. No 
vessel will allow herself, therefore, to become beneaped, if by any 
means she can be got off. 

Bermuda rig. — This rig is not common, but has, at times, been 
made use of for small yachts, when it consists of two or three raking 
pole masts, each cariying a gaff sail, and, as headsail, a large jib. 
It is a pretty rig, and fast ; but cannot compare in either with the 
schooner. The origin of the rig may be found in those " three- 
masted schooners built at Bermuda during the war of 1814. They 
went through the waves without rising to them, and consequently 
were too ticklish for northern stations." (Smyth.) (See also under 

Berth. — On ship board, a cabin. Sometimes a bed, or any space for 
the swinging of a hammock, is so called. A ship's berth is the place 
in which she lies, or is anchored ; thus, with good anchorage and in a 
sheltered situation, she is said to have come to a comfortable berth. 
Berth. — A position or employment to be secured, in Avhich case 
the term becomes synonymous with the word billet. 

Best. — Best and best, best boat. — The expression " best and 
best " is often met with in reports of sculling matches about to be 
arranged— the competitors agreeing to row a match in best and best 
boats. This actually implies that each may choose the best boat he 
can find ; and as it is customary to have special boats built for the 
occasion, on the most approved principles, these have become 
known as best boats. They may also be called wager boats, because 
wagers are usually laid on the result of the race. A best boat is, 
then, a racing boat of the most approved type. It is of the lightest 
possible material, very long and very narrow, with only just the 
room, in fact, in which a man can sit. It has no keel, being often 
semi-circular in section, and fitted with a small fin some way aft 
of the sculler which takes the place of keel; and the interior, 
except where the sculler sits, is covered in by oiled silk. It is fitted 
with sliding seats and long outriggers, and the well protected by a 
wash-board, or coaming, some inches in height. The whole thing 
sometimes weighs no more than 17 lbs. These boats, it may well be 
imagined, are only suited to smooth waters, though it is astonishing 
to see what waves they will sometimes live through. It is no un- 
common occurrence, however, for them to be swamped, and to render 
them less liable to such an accident an invention has lately been 
brought out, the principle of which is to cover them entirely in, 


placing the sculler on the top. The principal, among other objections, 
to this method is that the sculler, being placed very high up, offers 
considerably more resistance to the wind than when low down. It 
remains to be seen whether this departure will materially influence 
the designs of future racing boats. 

Between decks, or 'tween decks. — In a vessel of more than 
one deck, to be between the upper and the lower. 

Betwixt wind and water. — About the load water line. A 
vulnerable point in which to be struck, and hence its use in every- 
day conversation. 

Bibbs. — Brackets or bolsters near the head of a mast upon which 
rest the trestle-trees. Bibbs are also called hounds. (See fig. under 
Mast. ) 

Big topsail.— (See Topsails.) 

Bight (Saxon, bygan, to bend: prefer per feet bent). — 1. Of a rope. 
The double part when it is folded, in contradistinction to the end. 
It is, in fact, the bend or loop in a rope (see Knots) : hence the 
origin of the term "to bend on." (See Bend.) 2. Bight. A small 
inlet or bay on the line of a coast, or in the bank of a river. 

Bilge (often pronounced billldge). — The bilge is the lower part 
of a vessel, upon which she rests when aground. 

Bilge boards. — (See Floor boards under Floor.) 

Bilge pieces, or bilge keels, are strips fitted like keels on the out- 
side of the bilges, and serving both as a cradle for her to rest upon, 
and, to a certain extent, as keels when she careens over in sailing. 
In steamers they minimise the rolling. (See diagram under Frame. ) 

Bilge water. — The water that collects in the bottom of a vessel. 
It is said on board ship that when the bilge water pumps up clear, 
the vessel is leaky, while in a tight ship it comes up black and 
smelling. From this we have the popular expression, 'as foul as 
bilge water." A little water is generally allowed to remain at the 
bottom of open boats for the purpose of keeping their lower boards 
swelled ; but this cannot be looked upon as bilge water. 

Bilge ways. — The timbers upon which a vessel is launched. 

Bill (of an anchor). — The extremity of the fluke. (See Anchor.) 

Bill of health. — " A certificate or instrument, signed by proper 
authorities, delivered to the masters of ships at the time of their 
clearing out from all ports or places suspected of being infected 
by particular disorders, certifying the state of health at the time 
that such ship sailed. Bills of health are of three kinds — clean, 
foul, and suspected, which are self-explanatory terms." (Brande 
and Cox.) 

Bill of lading. — "A document, subscribed by the master of a ship, 
acknowledging the receipt of goods intrusted to him for trans- 
portation, and binding himself (under certain exceptions) to deliver 
them to the person to whom they are addressed, in good condition, 
for a certain remuneration or freightage. Of bills of lading there 
are usually triplicate copies : one for the party transmitting the 

' o 2 



goods, another for the person to whom the goods are addressed, 
and the third for the master." (Brande and Cox.) 

Billander. — " A small merchant vessel, with two masts. It is 
particularly distinguished from other vessels of two masts hy the form 
of her mainsail, which is bent to the whole length of a yard hanging 
fore and aft, and inclined to the horizontal in an angle of about 45 
degrees, and hanging immediately over the stern, while the fore 
end slopes downward, and comes as far forward as the middle of 
the ship ; the foremost lower corner, called the tack, being secured 
to a ring-bolt in the deck, and the aft- 
most, or sheet, to another in the taffrail. 
At present there are few vessels of this 
description." (Falconer's Dictionary.) 
The vessel has now become extinct. 

Bill board. — On ships, a support upon 
which the bills, or flukes, of the anchor 
rest when it is on deck. 

Billet. — -A berth or position to be 
secured. The origin of the term is prob- 
ably connected with the "billet" or letter 
introducing one person to another. 

Billyboy. — A class of coasting vessels 
sailing from the Humber ports, from which 
circumstance they are frequently called 
Yorkshire billyboys. The old billyboy 
was built with round and bluff stem 
and stern, and presented that which may 
be called a Dutch appearance. It was usually ketch rigged, 
carrying square sail, occasionally a square topsail, and sometimes, 
even, a mizzen staysail. But it was also rigged otherwise, as 
schooner or brigantine. These vessels are still to be seen. 

Bind. — To wind around, as binding the end of a rope with yarn. 
Also an iron band, as the binding of a dead-eye. 

Binnacle. — The fixed case and stand in which the steering 
compass in any vessel is set. 

Bite. — Spoken of an anchor when it holds the ground — it then 
bites. (This must not be confounded with the word Bight.) 

Bitts. — Small posts or timber heads fixed through the deck of a 
vessel, either round masts or at the foot of the bowsprit. There are 
various bitts in a ship, but in small craft the term is generally under- 
stood to mean the bowsprit bitts, which support the stock of the bow- 
sprit and frequently serve as kevels, or cleats, around which to " bitt " 
or wind the cable, so that it shall remain fast. (See fig. under Bow- 
SPEIT.) In large vessels we find riding bitts, which are stout heads 
rising considerably from the deck expressly for the purpose of 
" bitting " the cable. 

To bitt the cable.— To put it round the bitts in order to fasten it 
or slacken it gradually, which last is called veering away. 



Bitter. — A ship stopped by her cable is said to be brought up to a 

Bitter end. — That part of a vessel just abaft the bitts. 

Blacklead. — The bottom of a racing yacht is sometimes payed 
with (rubbed over with) blacklead to reduce the friction of the water 
with the hull. 

Black-strake. — The strake on a vessel's side which is made 
black. " A range of planks immediately above the wales in a ship's 
.side ; they are always covered with a mixture of tar and lamp-black, 
which preserves the plank itself and forms an agreeable variety with 
the white bottom beneath, and the scraped planks of the side, 
covered with melted turpentine, or varnish of pine, alone." 

Blackwall hitch. — A hitch (or half-knot) for loosely attaching 
a rope to a hook. (See KNOTS.) 

Blade. — The flat part of an oar, scull, or sweep ; also of a 
paddle, though this last is more properly called the fan. 

Bleed the monkey. — To steal from the grog kid. 

Blind-pulley. — A hole or block without a sheave in it. (nee 

Block. — The instrument generally described on shore as a 
" pulley ;" but this latter term has little or no meaning among sea- 
faring men, who invariably speak of a block. When two or more 
blocks are employed to move a single weight, they, with their ropes, 
constitute a tackle. (See Tackle.) A block is a machine made up 
of several parts, and with the utmost nicety ; and it may be 
regarded as among the most important parts of a vessel's rigging. The 
parts are as follows (see fig.) : — Tbe block is the piece (or block) of 
wood which constitutes the main body of the machine. The shell is 
the outside casing, the upper portion of which is called the head. This 
shell consists of two parts which encase the block and which are 
bound together, or seized, with a band called a strop ; and to prevent 
this strop from slipping off they have grooves cut in them, above 
and below : the grooves are called scores. The scores do not meet 
at the head of the block, but at the bottom they do, forming a con- 
tinuous groove called the ass. The sheave is the wheel of the 
pulley, and it fits into the sheave-hole or swallow, which is the slot, 
or mortise-hole, cut through the block to receive it.* Blocks may 
be double-sheaved, triple-sheaved, or fourfold-sheaved, according to 
the number of sheaves they cany. Sheaves are of some hard wood 
(such as lignum vitce) or of metal, sometimes of both ; and they are 
fitted with a centre-piece called the bouch, which travels upon 
the axle. They are set in the sheave-hole, below the middle, 
so as to allow room for the rope to run freely through. The axle 

* It has been said that " the wheel is frequently, though erroneously, called the 
sheave." We are unable to reconcile this either with practice or with the account 
of terms used in the manufacture of old blocks by Brunei's block machinery, and 
we therefore retain the old definition of a sheave. 





has, or should have, a square head. All Mocks, however, are not 
furnished with sheaves. Those usually employed in standing 
rigging are blind or dead — i.e., merely pierced with holes. Such 
are deadeyes, by whicli shrouds are hauled taut, and blind pul- 
leys, often found on small craft, for leading ropes aft. 

Blocks are of various descriptions, according to the uses to which 
they are turned. Some of them are as follow : — Gin block. — An 
iron block with a hook, 
to swing from a gin (a 
hoisting machine). Hook 
block. — A block to which 
a hook is attached. Such 
are blocks which are at- 
tached to a mast or any 
other spar. Small iron 
hook blocks are also used 
on various occasions. 
Jewel block. — A block 
which may be fitted to 
a yard-arm. Such blocks 
in a square rigged ship 
take the halyards of the 
studding - sails, while in 
fore-and-aft rig a jewel 
block may be fitted to 
the end of the gaff for 
the flag- halyard. Snatch 
block. — A block of one 
sheave into which the 
bight of a rope can be 
slipped. This is useful 
when the end of a rope 
cannot be got at. Tail 
block. — A block with 
rope strop, the ends of 
which are left long, so 
that they may be tied 
round anything ; these 
ends forming what is 
called the "tail." Blind 
pulleys are wooden blocks 

naving a hole pierced through them, but no sheave (above men- 
tioned). Deadeyes. — Blind blocks connecting shrouds with channel 
plates, and serving to set up the shrouds. (See Deadeyes, under 
Dead.) The use of iron blocks is becoming more common than 
formerly. They are employed on various occasions, as, for in- 
stance, for chains; and where they occur they are often called 
iron pulleys. 

To fleet blocks in a tackle is to bring them down close together. 

1T?QN Puuey 




The term has something of an equivalent in chocking a Mock, which 
is to haul one hlock down to a rail or hook, or down to another. To 
strop a block is to bind on its strop (the band by which it is attached 
to some other object, and which 
also holds the casing together). 
Strops may be of rope or iron. 

The principle of the pulley is 
a subject outside the scope of 
such a work as the present ; it 
will be found fully explained in 
any Avork on mechanics. But it 
may not be out of place to 
remind the reader that a fixed 
block serves merely to change the 
direction of a force, while with 
one or more movable blocks a 
mechanical advantage is obtained. 
This mechanical advantage, or 
"acquisition," is called the pur- 
chase, and hence it is that the 
rope upon which men pull to lift 
a weight is, in nautical phrase- 
ology, called the purchase of a 
tackle (a perfectly correct term), 
while the tackle itself also often 
goes by the same name. 

Blocks are measured by their 
length over all, expressed in 
inches: e.g., a 6in. block is one 

which measures 6in. in length over the entire wood-work. A block 
is generally supposed to take a rope of a circumference one-third 
its length : thus a 6in. block will take a 2in. rope ; but the rule 
is not always followed. The best blocks are those in which the 
grain of the wood runs diagonally across the flat surface, for then 
they are less liable to split, and if they should it will be across the 
strop, which will still hold them together. 

Blockade. — In international law, a prevention of exit or en- 
trance from or to any port of an enemy in war, and an exclusion 
(under certain terms) of neutrals. 

Blocksliip. — An old naval term. A ship engaged in blockading. 
" A large vessel employed on coast duty for the protection of a 
specified district. " 

Blow the gaff (old naval term). — To inform against any 
person or persons. To let out some secret. 

Blue- — Blue peter. — The flag denoting the departure of a vessel, 
hoisted at the fore part of the rigging, either on the bowsprit, fore- 
stay, etc. It is a blue flag, with a white square in centre. 
To look blue. — To look astonished or foolish. 

Fleeting Blocks. 


Till all is blue. — Till the end of all things. 

To blue (probably " to blow," or " blow away "). — To squander a 
sum of money. In other words to make it look blue. 

Bluff. — Abrupt. A cliff or highland projecting into the sea 
almost perpendicularly is called a bluff. 

Bluff-bow, bluff-head. — A vessel is said to be bluff-bowed when she 
has broad and flat bows, and when her stem has but little or no rake 
(inclination) she may also be called bluff-headed. {See fig. under 
Square Stem.) 

Board. — 1. Board. An expression signifying the side of a ship. 
Hence : — a'board, inside or on the ship. 

By the board. — Over the ship's side. Therefore to slip by the board 
is to slip down by her side. 

Board and board. — An expression signifying that two vessels come 
so near each other as to touch ; but it is also used to describe the 
position of two ships which lie side by side. 

To board. — Boarding is the act of going on board a vessel, but it 
is often understood to mean going on board by force, as in battle, 
piracy, or for the purpose of arresting some person or persons on board. 

Boarders (in old warfare). — " Sailors appointed to make an attack 
by boarding, or to repel such an attempt by the enemy." 

Boarding-pike. — A defensive weapon used by sailors in boarding 
an enemy's vessel. Though the practice of boarding an enemy has, 
of course, become extinct since the introduction of the modern type 
of ship, yet the drill is still kept up on Her Majesty's ships. 

Board in the smoke. — To take advantage or get the better of 
some person when they are not expecting it. The term is, of course, 
derived from the custom, in old warfare, of boarding an enemy 
when concealed by the smoke of guns. 

2. Board (in sailing) is the distance a vessel travels between each 
tack (that is, without turning), so that to make a good board or stretch 
is to travel straight and make good progress against the wind ; to 
make a long hoard, to keep for a long time on the same tack ; to 
make short boards, to tack frequently ; while to make a stern board is to 
fall back again from a point already gained, which may be the result 
of a strong head tide or any other accident. (See Stern Board. ) 

3. Board of Trade. — The Committee of the Privy Council for the 
Affairs of Trade. " The Board of Trade have certain powers in 
respect of passenger steamers on the Thames in common with other 
passenger steamboats, etc. This is also the department of the 
Government to which, under the Acts relating to the Conservancy 
Board and Trinity House, certain questions arising under these 
Acts are referred. " 

Boat.— The forms of boats are innumerable. They vary with 
locality, each district giving its own name as it does its own form. 
Reference must, therefore, be made under such heads as Peter- 
boat, Wager-boat, etc. 

To boat, oars — more commonly called unshipping oars — is to bring 
them into the boat, generally after rowing. 




Boat-hook. — A most useful implement in the form of a hook or 
spike at the end of a pole. It has an infinite number of uses, as for 
instance, to hold on to a chain or rope, or a grassy 
bank ; to keep a boat's head or stern away from a 
wall; to prevent collision with any other craft, etc. ; 
and, in a sailing boat, to pick up a mooring. 
There are various forms of boat-hooks. One is a 
mere spike ; another a hook and spike ; a third 
a double hook. Sometimes a paddle-blade is 
combined with the boat-hook ; and sometimes for 
sailing boats, the pole is marked in feet, and used 
in shallow water instead of the lead bine. A person 
situated in the middle of a boat has more power to 
keep her straight with the boat-hook than if he 
were in the bow or stem. Seated amidships he can, 
by thrusting out the stern of the boat, get her head 
in, or, by pulling on the stem, get her away from 
any object. 

Boat-sJcids " are long square pieces of fir, extend- 
ing across the ship from the gang-board, and on 
which the boats, spare masts, etc., are laid." (Fal- 
coner's Diction aiy.) 

Boatswain (pronounced bo'sun). — "The second of 
the three warrant officers of a man-of-war ; he has 
charge of the boats, rigging, anchors, and cables. It is his duty 
to turn the hands up, or summon the whole crew, whenever they 
are required for duty. He should, from the nature of his duties, 
be an active man, and a thorough seaman. The boatswain's mates 
assist the boatswain, summon the watches or other portions of the 
crew to duty, and inflict punishments." (Brande and Cox, 1865.) 

Bob-stay. — A stay (or rope) made fast to the stem post of a 
boat, at the cutwater, and leading to the nose of the bowsprit, 
where it is taken up by a tackle sometimes called the bob-stay 
purchase. The bob-stay fall {i.e., the rope leading from the 
tackle) serves to taughten the bob-stay ; it leads inboard along 
the bowsprit and, in boats, belays to the bowsprit bitts. The 
act of hauling on this purchase is called bowsing down the bow- 
sprit. (See diagram under Bowsprit.) The bob-stay may be of 
rope, wire-rope, or of chain. To it, in small craft, about one- 
third of its length from the stem, is generally attached a rope 
leading on deck. This is the bob-stay tricing- line : its use is to 
trice up the bob-stay when at anchor — i.e., to pull it up close to 
the stem-post, so as to prevent its chafing against the anchor or 
mooring chain. The office of the bob-stay is to prevent the bowsprit 
from topping up. It acts in opposition to the fore or fore topmast 
stays, and takes much of the strain of the head sails. It is not un- 
usual, in yacht racing, to hear of its breaking ; such an accident is 
fatal, as without a bob-stay the whole forward gear of the boat might 
be carried away, and the time required to rig a new one would upset 




any chance she might have. The yacht Ailsa broke her bob-stay "at 
the start of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club Ocean Match in 1895, 
and was immediately brought to and 
taken back to Gravesend. 

Body. — The hull of a vessel, 
without fitting s. 

Body-plan. (See Line.) 

Bollards. — An old name, though 
one still in use, for those posts of 
timber frequently seen on the sides 
of docks, quays, piers, etc., on 
which hawsers or springs (ropes) are 
thrown for hauling vessels alongside. 

Bollard timbers. — Otherwise called 
knight-heads [which see). 

Bollocks. — Blocks secured to the middle of the topsail yards 
in large ships ; the topsail ties pass through them, and thereby 
gain an increase of power in lifting the yards. 

Bolster. — Generally speaking, a pad ; often a piece of timber, 
either used to " bolster up " anything requiring slight alteration 
or support, or upon masts, to bear some part of the standing 
rigging. Thus the brackets on a mast which support the trestle 
trees, or those carrying shrouds or stays, are called bolsters or bibbs. 

Bolt. — The appearance of a bolt is well known to everyone, whether 
ashore or afloat ; it is a short rod, usually of iron or other metal 
(though occasionally of wood, when it is known as a trennel), hold- 
ing two members together. On shipboard there are various bolts, 
besides those which hold the timbers ; as, for instance — bolt-eyes, 
or screw-eyes (sometimes called eye-bolts), the heads of which form 
an eye, and which may be screwed into almost any part of a boat 
to lead ropes through or to make them fast ; ring-bolls, into the 
heads of which are fitted a loose ring. [See also under these headings. ) 

Bolt-ropes. — The ropes along the borders or edges of a sail, for 
the purpose of strengthening those parts. Each bolt-rope takes its 
name from its position on a sail ; thus there are the head, the foot 
and the leach ropes. [Set Sail.) 

Bonnet. — An additional part made to fasten with latchings or 
laskets to the foot of the sails of small vessels in moderate winds. It is 
exactly similar to the foot 
of the sail it is intended for. 
Buttons are also sometimes 
used in fastening it Bon- 
nets, may be seen inconstant 
use in the wherries of Nor- 
folk and Suffolk (see fig. 1 
under Noef OLK Wherry) , 
also in some of the Cornish 
fishing-craft. They were al?o originally employe:! on square sails. 

Booby Hatch. 



Booby hatch. — A raised cabin head -with sliding hatch. (See fig .) 
Boom. — A boom is a pole extending outboard (i.e. , outwards from a 
vessel) ; and from this, anything extending outwards is said to be 
boomed out, as a lug sail, which may be described as boomed out if 
only held outward by an oar ; and the shrouds of a bowsprit, which are 
said to be boomed out on its whiskers. Sail booms take their names 
from the sails they extend, as the main, mizzen, or spinnaker booms. 
They constitute the only means whereby such sails can be taken 
beyond the sides, or taffrail ; and they moreover help to stand the 
sails flat. As an example, for the fittings of a boom we may take 
that of the mainsail of a cutter. It is held to the mast either by a 


J'oint called the gooseneck and shaffle (ivhich sec), or, otherwise, it 
las jaws which partially encircle the mast, these jaws resting on a 
stout ring round the lower portion of the mast, called the saddle or 
bolster. The entire fitting constitutes that which is known as the 
boom stays. At the after end of the boom is generally to be found 
a member known as the clamp or cleat. This consists of a flat piece 
projecting on each side and perforated with various holes : it forms 
a sort of cleat, through the holes of which the reef pendants can be 
passed and tied down when the sail is reefed. This clamp is some- 
times, however, dispensed with, and a traveller, or an outhaul, used 
in its place. Over the end of the boom the grommet of the topping- 
lift is passed ; this latter is a rope used for lifting, or topping, the 
boom when taking in a reef, or tricing up the sail, it being necessary 


at such times to take the weight of the boom off the halyards. The 
boom rests, when the boat is at anchor, on a crutch — sometimes called 
a mitehboard — which may be either a simple pair of trestle legs, or, 
in the latter case, a flat board with a half circle cut out of the top, 
this also being to take the weight of the spar. (See CRUTCH.) 
And it is usually covered, when the sail is furled, by a water-proof 
sail cloth, which encloses boom, sail, and gaff — the gaff-halyards 
being unshackled and attached to slings which pass under the boom. 
(See under Sling.) The tendency of a boom being to bend upwards 
it is made somewhat thicker in the middle than at the ends. In large 
racing yachts the mainsail is laced to the boom ; but in cruisers the 
foot is generally tacked down at each end and, if fastened to the 
boom at all, merely lashed to it by short ropes, so as to be readily 
let go. A boom is not a necessaiy adjunct to the mainsail of a 
single-masted boat. Many, more especially fishing craft, cany 
sails which merely hang from the gaff, and may be brailed up by a 
clew-line, at any moment : these sails are called trysails, and are 
sometimes rigged to yachts for winter work ; the fact that they 
are without the boom rendering them very handy in variable weather. 
Other booms, apart from the main, are as follow : — 

Spinnaker boom. — A very long and light spar, often longer than 
the lower mast, which extends a spinnaker — i.e., a racing sail, set, 
when running before the wind, on the side opposite to that on 
which the mainsail stands. When no longer in use, this boom is 
usually topped up to the mast, or, being ran out forward of the 
shrouds, it may be laid forward by the bowsprit. 

Licg sail boom. — The lower yard of a balance-lug is called the 

Jigger-boom. — The bumpkin which, in yawls, is often set out and 
fixed beyond the taffrail is sometimes known as the jigger-boom. 

Boomkin (pronounced and often written "bumpkin"). — This is 
a small boom, usually fixed, and serving to work a sail extending 
beyond the taffrail of a boat. If very small it may be called a 

A jib-boom is a species of extra bowsprit supported by and ex- 
tended beyond that spar : it is only found on large yachts, and 
not often there ; belonging, mostly, to trading vessels. 

A jiying jib-boom is a prolongation of the jib-boom, carrying 
a flying jib : it belongs only to large vessels. 

A sprit, which passes diagonally across a fore and aft sail, is not a 
boom ; nor must it be confounded with it, as the office of each is 
very different from the other. (See Sprit.) 

Boom foresail (in a schooner). — The foresail ; that is the gaff 
sail on the foremast. (See SCHOONER.) It is so called because 
it carries a boom, but principally to distinguish it from the fore 
stay-sail, which is often called the foresail. (See under FORE.) 
On occasions we hear seamen speak of " the two mainsails " or 
" both mainsails " of a schooner, meaning the mainsail and the 
boom foresail. 


Boom-iron (in ships). — An iron implement composed of two 
rings, formed into one piece, so as nearly to resemble the figure 8. 
It is employed to connect two cylindrical pieces of wood together, 
such as the jib-boom to the bowsprit, studding sail booms to the 
yards, etc. 

Boom square sail. — In old vessels one of the courses (usually 
the fore-course), the foot of which is extended on a boom so that it 
may be topped over the fore or main stay when the ship comes 

Boom-stays. — The fittings of a boom to its mast. They may 
consist either of a snaffle and gooseneck joint, or of a saddle for the 
jaws of the boom, when it has them. {See Gooseneck AND 

Boot-topping. — Scraping a ship's bottom and paying it over 
with a mixture or tallow, sulphur, resin, etc. 

Bore. — " A word used to express the sudden rise of the tide in 
certain estuaries, as in the Severn." 

To bore. — When down by the head a vessel is said to bore. 

Both, sheets aft. — An expression used with respect to a square 
rigged vessel, signifying that she is running before the wind, in 
doing which the sheets of her square sails will be drawn aft equally. 

Bottom. — Of a ship, that part of her which is under the water 
line. As used by commercial men, the term sometimes refers to 
the ship itself, as, for instance, in the phrase, " a trade in foreign 
bottoms. " 

Bottomry. — A term in commercial law referring to the letting 
or mortgaging of ships. (See also RESPONDENTIA. ) 

Bound. — Tightly held (of a ship). 

Outward bound. — Leaving home. 

Homeward bound. — Returning home. 

Tide bound. — Unable to make progress because of a 
head tide. 

Wind bound. — At anchor because unable to make 
progress in consequence of contrary winds. 

Bow (Bows of a ship). — The sides at the 
fore-part of a vessel, distinguished one from the 
other by the right and left hand, the first being 
the starboard-bow, the second the port-bow (fig. 1). 

(In rowing) Bow. — The headmost rower (nearest 
the bow) : lie is No. 1 (fig. 2). All the rowers count 
from him ; thus, the composition of an eight-oar boat 
will be as follows -.—Bow (1), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, stroke (8), cox- 
swain. In pair-oar or double-sculling the rowers are known as 
bow and stroke, and their oars are numbered 1 and 2. 

Bow side. — The side upon which the bow-man puts out his oar j 
that is on his left-hand side. The terms starboard and port are 
never used in rowing, the bow-side and stroke-side being spoken of 
instead. The bow-side is therefore the starboard side. 



Bow - board, in a pleasure skiff. — A 
board fitting the bows of a boat and 
forming a back upon which a person may 

Bowline.~(See Bowline.) 

Bow - sprit (anciently bolt - spi-it). — 
One of the main spars in a vessel. It 
is a pole or " sprit " projecting forward 
from the stem and taking the forestays 
and bobstays. Its office is to enable a 
vessel to carry an increased spread of 
canvas in the form of head-sails, and to 
furnish a forward support to the top- 
mast, though this latter object could 
actually be obtained without its use. 
The methods of fitting a bowsprit and 
keeping it in place are as follow: Some 
little distance aft of the stempost and 
on the deck of the vessel are fitted two 
stout timber heads called the bowsprit 
bitts ; between these bitts the boAvsprit 
is stepped (or placed). It is kept from 
rising by a cross piece called the cross- 
bitt, and from sliding inwards by a fid at the heel. At 
the stem are the Jcrdghtheads, and the bowsprit runs between 
these also, and in large vessels is supported by them. But 
in small craft the bowsprit lies on the deck and does not 




— V\ 




_ 7 


Fig. 2.— Rowing. 


A. Cranse-iron. 

B. Topmast forestay. 

C. Bobstay purchase. 

D. Bobstay. 

E. Rising line: 

F. Bowsprit shrouds. 

G. Bobstay fall. 

H. Gammoning iron. 

J. Knighthead. 

K. Crossbitt. 

L. Traveller with jib outhaul. 

require the support of the knightheads, which are, therefore, 
of a different form. (See under Knightheads. ) The bow- 
sprit must, nevertheless, have some support at the stem, and 
tins is obtained by a stout ring, called the gammoning-iron, 
through which it is passed ; this gammoning iron is usually bolted 


to the stem on its port, or left-hand side. The bowsprit, like the 
mast, requires staifing, for it has to sustain almost as great a strain. 
At its forward end it is fitted with a metal cap, called the cranse- 
iron, which is made with several rings upon it to take the standing 
ends of the stays. The most important of these is the bob-stay, for 
it holds the bowsprit down against the strain of the topmast-fore- 
stay, which leads from the topmast head to the nose of the bowsprit. 
Laterally, the bowsprit is stayed by shrouds, and if the boat is very 
narrow or the spar very long, these bowsprit-shrouds are boomed 
out — i.e., extended on small cross-trees called whiskers (which see). 
The shrouds lead to the bows and are set up (or tightened) by means 
of a purchase, which leads in board, or in small boats sometimes by 
screw-tighteners. The angle which the bowsprit of a ship makes with 
the horizontal is called the steeve ; this is seldom seen in small craft. 
The act of hauling it inboard is called reeving it, and that of haul- 
ing on the bobstay to tighten before making sail is bowsing 
down the bowsprit. The method of fixing the bowsprit constitutes 
the main difference between the cutter and sloop rig. In the 
sloop it is a standing spar, taking the tack of the foresail ; in a 
cutter it is a reeving spar and the foresail is secured at the stem- 
head. (See under both Cutter and Sloop.) 

Bower. — One of the large anchors of a ship which hold her by 
the bows, hence the name. (See Anchor. ) 

Bowgrace. — A name given, in ships sailing in frozen regions, to 
a framework of old rope or junk laid round the bows, stem and sides 
of a vessel to protect her from floating ice. 

Bowline. 1. — A loop in a rope, tied in a peculiar manner and 
often used to throw over a post. (See KNOTS. ) 2. A rope fastened 
to a square sail near the middle of the leech by three or four shorter 
ropes called bridles. Bowlines are employed on the principal sails 
in a square-rigged vessel to keep the weather edges forward and 
steady, for without some such tension the sails would be continu- 
ously shivering. Hence to be sailing with a taut bowline is to be 
close-hauled (which see). To check the bowlines is to slacken them as 
the ship falls off from the wind. 

Bowse down. — To haul down taut. The act of tightening a 
bobstay by hauling on its fall (i.e., its running end) is called botcs- 
ing down the bowsprit. 

Box. — Boxing the compass. — Repeating the points of the com- 
pass in order, starting from any point. (See COMPASS.) Though 
this accomplishment may be unnecessary to amateur sailors -a 
thorough familiarity with the compass cannot fail to prove of the 
utmost service on many occasions. 

Boxing off. — Generally speaking, throwing a vessel's head off 
from the wind. There are many occasions in a sailing boat when 
this may be done, as, for instance, at starting, when unable to get 
round in tacking, or if there be danger of running aground. In the 
last case the plan formerly called box hauling may be resorted to 



which, should the boat refuse to come round, will bring her back 
upon the same tack as she was before. 

Box hauling (an obsolete term) is a method of " bringing a 
ship, when close-hauled, round upon the other tack, when she 
refuses to tack and there is not room to wear. By throwing the 
head sails ahack she gets stern way ; the helm thereupon being put 
a-lee, the ship's head falls rapidly off from the wind (this, because 
when a vessel is moving backwards the rudder acts the reverse way), 
which she soon brings aft ; she is 
then speedily rounded to Avith but 
little loss of ground." (Brande and 

Brace. — A rope communicating 
with a boom or yard-arm for the 
purpose of trimming the sail to 
which such a spar may be attached. 
In square rigged ships the braces 
trim the yards horizontally. Hence 
the orders brace back, brace in, 
brace or round up sharp, etc. 

Rudder braces. — The eyes in 
which a rudder swings are some- 
times called braces. (See RUDDER. ) 

Brace of shakes. — A slang ex- 
pression signifying "quickly." (Its 
origin is explained under the head- 
ing Shake.) 

Brackish. — Spoken of water in 
a river when half salt and half 

Brail. — A rope encircling a sail 
for the purpose of gathering it up 
to a mast or yard. Brails are used 
on square rigged vessels to assist 
in furling the sails. In fore-and-aft rig they are usually em- 
ployed where no boom exists. They are common in fishing craft 
and almost invariable in sea-going barges. When brails are hauled 
taut, the sail is said to be br ailed up. (See fig.) 

Break. — 1. (Of the anchor.) — To out anchor. 

2. (Of a sail.) — To stop a sail. (See STOP.) 

3. (To break bulk.) — "To take part of the ship's cargo out of the 
hold." (Bailey.) 

Breaker. — 1. A small water barrel. 

2. Breakers. — Waves which, in consequence of the shallowness of 
the water, curl over and " break " as seen upon any beach. The 
breaking seas in deep waters, in high winds, or when the tide 
comes up against the wind, are not breakers. These have sometimes 
been called " white horses ;" they are dangerous to small boats. 

Barge Sail Brailed Up. 




Breakwater. — An artificial bank or wall, of any material, set 
up either outside a harbour or along a coast to break the violence of 
the sea and create a smooth shelter. The small so-called break- 
waters, or properly speaking groynes, often met with along a beach 
have been usually placed there for the formation, by the action of the 
sea, of an artificial beach, when the sea is washing away the land. 

Breaming. — The cleansing of the bottom of a vessel by fire 
(this melts the pitch or other composition with which she has been 
covered) and scraping. 

Breast-hook. — A stout knee in the extreme bow of a vessel 
holding the parts together. (See diagram under Frame.) 

Breechings (mdgo britchings). — Back ropes or stays. 

Bridles. — Small ropes connecting 
some object with a larger rope. In 
square rigged ships, short ropes con- 
necting the leech of a sail with the 
bowline. {See Bowline.) 

Trawl bridles. — The ropes connecting 
the beam of a trawl to its warp or main 

Brig.— A vessel with two masts (fore 
and main), botb of them square rigged, 
but having a gaff mainsail. The brig is 
becoming a rare vessel, the brigantine and schooner having taken its 
place to a great extent, for reasons explained under the heading liia. 
The vessel once known as the snow may be classed under brigs. 

Hermaphrodite brig. — A combination of the brig and schooner 
rigs from which we get the modern brigantine (whieh see). It is 
square rigged on the foremast and fore- 
and-aft on the main mast. 

Brig-mast. — The name given to a 
mast wliich carries a top-gallant mast, 
in contradistinction to the schooner- 
matt, which has no top-gallant, but 
only lower and top-mast. The brig-mast 
is the distinguishing difference between 
the brigantine and the schooner, and 
between the barkentine and the three- 
masted schooner (both of which see). 

Brigantine. — (A small or lesser 
brig.) A vessel with two masts (fore and main), the foremast brig 
rigged with square fore course, and the main mast schooner rigged. 
The rig, however, may vaiy slightly. 

Bring-to. — Bring up, bring up to the wind. — The act of 
stopping the course of a sailing vessel by bringing her head up into 
the wind. 

Broach. — Broaching to. — A slewing round when running before 
the wind. This must often be the result of carelessness ; the lx>at's 





Fok Sale. 

head will run away to windward, with the result that she turns her 
back upon her proper course. 

Broadside. — To come up to a 
vessel broadside, is to approach her 
side foremost, as a dinghy or boat 
often comes up to a yacht. 

Broadside. — A British broadside, 
in the old days of the wooden walls, 
was the reception often given to a 
too venturesome enemy ; it consisted 
in firing all the cannon on one side 
of the ship at the same moment. 

Broken-backed. — A vessel is 
said to have broken her back if her 
ends fall apart, as from running on a rock. {See HOGGING. ) 

Broom at the mast head. — A sign that a boat is for sale. (Sec fig. ) 

Buccaneer. — A pirate of the West Indies and South America 
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries : they are some- 
times called fdibustiers by French writers. For a description of these 
freebooters see Burney's " History of the Buccaneers of America." 

Bucklers. — Pieces of wood caulking the hawse holes. 

Bugalet. — " A small vessel with two masts, used on the coast of 
Brittany. The foremast is very short ; and on each mast is carried 
a square sail, and, sometimes, a topsail over the mainsail. Tliey 
have a bowsprit, and set one or two jibs." (Falconer's Dictionary.) 

Build. — There are three methods, in boat building, of disposing 
the planks of the sides. 1. Clincher, clench, or lapstrake. 2. 
Carvel. 3. Diagonal. A clincher-built boat is one in which the 

» Building. 

strakes overlap This is the style most generally in vogue for 
.small boats. In a carvel-built boat all the planks being flush with 
each other, a smooth surface is presented to the eye. This class of 
building is the most popular for yachts, and is even superseding 
clincher, to a small extent, for skiffs ; but though more convenient, 
perhaps, on large hulls, it is hardly likely to take the place of 
clincher for open boats where any rough wear is required of them. 



Diagonal Build. 

As, in carvel building, the planks can only be secured at the timbers 
(or ribs) they require caulking to ensure water-tightness. In diagonal- 
building the planks are laid diagonally 
across the timbers, and most usually 
a second casing is laid over these 
running in the contraiy direction. 
This method of building ensures 
great strength, though at the expense 
(unless very Light-built) of some extra 
weight. The best wooden yachts are 
now built in this way, wliile such 
vessels as barges have for a long 
time been so where great durability 
is looked for. 

Bulgeways, or bilgeways. — Timbers placed beneath a vessel 
while building. (See also under Bilge.) 

Bulk. — Cargo or loose material. 

Laden in b ulk. — A vessel laden with loose cargo, as grain , ice, salt, etc. 

Bulkhead. — A partition. Bulkheads may be of almost any 
material, as wood, canvas, or iron ; and sometimes their office is to 
render a vessel additionally secure by dividing it into water-tight 

Bull's-eye. — A round window in a cabin. Sometimes the 
central part of a port-hole light. 

Bulwarks. — A parapet round the deck of a vessel to protect 
persons or goods from being washed overboard, and the decks from 
the sea. In old battle ships they were veiy high and solid, thereby 
affording protection from an enemy's musketry ; and during the day 
the hammocks of the crew were generally stowed beneath them. 

Bum-boat. — An old term for a boat allowed to attend upon a 
ship in port, and supply the sailors with various small articles. 

Bumpkin (probably correctly named boom-kin, a little 
lx>om). — A small fixed boom or short pole. It is usually seen, 
either as an extension aft to hold the block by which a mizzen 
sail is worked, or as a diminutive bowsprit for an open sailing boat. 
In the latter case, it is often of iron and fits over the stern-post, 
being fitted with a hook at the forward end, to take a foresail or 
the tack of a dipping lug. (See diagram under BOOM.) 

Certain yachts have a short thick bumpkin running out under, and 
partially supporting the bowsprit, as a jib-boom is supported in a large 
vessel. The object of this is to increase the size of the fore-sail by 
taking it beyond the stem-head, and a boat thus rigged is, in America, 
called a sloop, though not answering to our meaning of that word. 

Bung. — 1. The cork which stops the hole at the bottom of a 
lx>at. (See PLUG. ) 2. In boat racing it used to be, and occasion- 
ally is, in some districts, the practice to start the competitors from 
moored buoys which were held by the coxswain and let go when the 
signal to go was given : at these times the buoy was called the " bung. " 

D 2 




Bunk. — A bed on board ship. The word is used in contradis- 
tinction to hammock. A bunk is fixed, a hammock swung. 

Bunt, or belly. — It is difficult to define the exact meaning of this 
term. Generally speaking, the bunt is the main body of a sail, ex- 
clusive of such parts as are named (as the luff and leech, the head, 
foot clew, etc.). In square sails the bunt has been thus described: — 
" That portion nearest the central perpendicular bine. If a sail be 
divided into four equal portions, from side to side, the bunt would 
comprise the two centre strips. " 

Bunt lines. — Lines for gathering up the bunt of square sails to 
their yards. They are fastened to cringles in the foot-rope of a sail. 

Buoy. — A floating instrument moored 
over a certain spot, either to mark a 
shoal or a course for vessels ; to make 
vessels fast to ; to mark the situation of a 
mooring ; and for various other purposes. 
Any floating object which marks some- 
thing under the water, or some course or 
stream, may, in fact, be called a buoy. 
Buoys are of various forms : they may be 
round, can, nun, etc. (See below.) They 
are also painted in various manners to 
distinguish one from another. In estuaries, 
or over dangerous spots, we sometimes find 
gas buoys, those having a gas light upon 
them, or bell buoys, having heavy bells 
which may be heard at night or in fogs ; 
wlrile many more have beacons upon them 
of different shapes, as the round, the dia- 
mond, or the square. All these forms have 
their particular uses and situations, which 
are brought to a uniform system under the 
jurisdiction of the Trinity House. Thus on 
entering a port (or running on the main 
stream of the flood tide) can buoys always 
appear on the starboard side and nun buoys 
on the port, while spherical buoys mark 
the ends of middle grounds. In the river 
Thames, on going up from the Nore to 
London, the starboard buoys are plain black 
or red, some having globular beacons, some being without them. 
The port buoys are either chequered, red and white, or black and 
white, or painted with vertical stripes of red or black, some having 
beacons in the form of a cage, others being without beacons. And 
the middle ground buoys are marked with red or black stripes placed 
horizontally and being with or without beacons of a diamond shape. 

Can buoy (i.e., cone buoy). — One in the form of a cone — not of a 
can. (See Can Buoy.) 





Swallow Tail. 

Nun buoy. — One in the form of a double cone. (See Nun BUOY.) 

Wreck buoys are green and marked with the word " Wreck " in 
large white letters. 

Buoyancy. — That capacity of floating rightly which a vessel 
should possess. It is dependent upon form. 

Centre of buoyancy. — The centre of gravity of the water displaced 
hy any vessel. 

Burden. — 1. The capacity of a vessel, as 100 tons burden, etc. 

2. Burdens (in shipbuilding). — Timbers laid over the floors to 
prevent cargo or ballast from injuring the lining. In boats the 
burdens are the footwalings (ivhich see). 

Burgee. — A small flag ending in a point or a swallow tail. If it 
ends in a point it is, in mercantile language, a pennant ; but among 
yacht clubs, each of winch adopts one as a 
distinguishing mark, the burgee is almost 
always pointed, those of a commodore, rear, 
and vice being swallow-tailed. The different 
devices to be seen on yachts' burgees are 
very numerous, and are published annually 
in Hunt's Yacht List. Those clubs which are 
Royal may, with very few exceptions, be 
distinguished by a regal crown surmounting 
their charge ; thus the Royal Squadron dis- 
plays, by privilege, the cross of St. George, 
over which is the crown ; the Royal London, 
the arms of London on a blue field, above 
which is the crown ; but the Royal Harwich — 
a lion rampant, or, on a blue field — is without 
the crown. It is the practice in large yacht 
clubs to register and number both its members 
and the boats belonging to its fleet, each 
having their own particular flag, or number, 
as it is usually called. By this means both 
boats and members are known separately, and 
it is possible to tell, by signal, riot only what 
boat has come to a berth, but also who may 
be on board. The burgee marks the club to 
which a yacht belongs ; numbers (flags) hoisted 
over the burgee indicate the boat's number 
(and therefore her name) ; numbers hoisted 
under the burgee indicate members' numbers 
(and therefore their names). Certain yacht 
clubs have the privilege granted to them of 
using certain ensigns. When a yacht flies a 
particular ensign the burgee of the same club 
is displayed with it. A yacht may belong to 
several clubs, but she never flies the burgee 
of one with the ensign of another. And when 
she comes to the head-quarters of a club to y. C. 



Royal Harwich 
Y. C. 

which she belongs, she always flies its burgee. 
On festive occasions, such as regattas, a yacht 
flies all the colours to which her owner has a 
right, in order of precedence, with those of 
the local club usually at the head, or if he be 
an officer of any club the ensign and burgee 
of that club have precedence. On Sundays the 
burgee may be hoisted and flown together with 
any colours that may have been won during the 
season, and the ensign over the taffrail. 

Bush, or coak.— The centre piece (usually of gun-metal) of a 
wooden sheave in a block. It is, in fact, the bearing of the pin on 
which the sheave runs. (For a description of its shape see under Coak. ) 

Buss. — " A two-masted vessel used by the Dutcli and English in 
the herring fishery. It is nearly obsolete now ; but when employed 
is from fifty to seventy tons in burden." (Brande and Cox.) Falconer 
describes it as having been " furnished with two small sneds or 
cabins, one at the prow and the other at the stem ; the forward 
one being employed as the kitchen." These houses on deck may 
still be seen on many Dutch craft. 

Butt. — The butt is the lower end of a yard or sprit. 

Buttock. — The convexity of the under portion of the stem of a 
vessel ; in other words, that part between the counter (or the 
transom) and the bilge. Its actual extent is from the after end of 
the sheer strake to the keel, in a curved and forward direction. 
From this we have what is 
called a buttock line, which, 
in the lines of a boat, is a 
longitudinal vertical section 
through one of the buttocks. 
On the breadth plan, there- 
fore, it appears as a straight 
line parallel to the keel ; from thence it is projected to the 
bodj' plan, where it becomes a vertical bine ; and from thence 
again being projected to the sheer plan, it will be found to 
assume a curved form. 
(See Line.) 

By. — By the head. — 
Another manner of ex- 
pressing the term " down 
by the head," that is>— 
the head depressed, as in 
the figure. 

By the wind (in sailing). 
— Sailing with the wind 
a' head of the beam. (See 
under Close-hauled.) by the head. 




Cabin. — A habitable apartment on ship-board. 

Cable. — The rope or chain by Which a ship's anchor is held. 
Cables were formerly of hemp, but to-day chain cables are in almost 
universal use. The advantages of the latter are manifold : they 
neither chafe nor become rotten ; " and by reason of their greate/ 
weight the strain is exerted on the cable rather than on the ship." 
A chain with a sectional diameter of lin. is said to be equivalent 
to a lOin. cable, nearly. 

"A cable's length — the tenth of a nautical mile; or approximately, 
100 fathoms or iiOO yards." (Lloyd's Almanac.) A chain's length 
is 12£ fathoms. A cable is, or should be, fastened at the end to 
some strong part of the vessel. The lengths of chain are joined by 
shackles, and thus the cable may be shortened or lengthened with- 
out interfering either with the anchor or fixed end ; these shackles 
have their pins countersunk, so as to offer no impediment to the free 
run of the cable, and they are placed lug forward for the same reason. 
Swivels are placed at certain intervals (generally at every other 
length of chain) so that the chain by turning them maybe prevented 
from knitting, that is, from twisting, the technical name for a 
twist in chain being knit. In very deep water it may sometimes 
be necessary to employ more than one length of cable ; every ad- 
ditional length is termed a shot according to its number, thus single- 
shot indicates that one length has been addetl, double-shot two 
lengths, and so on. A cable Is sometimes marked in fathoms ; and 
one of the links is generally marked (either by a bit of bunting or 
some other equally convenient material) to show when it has gone out 
as far as its length and the necessary bite on the windlass will allow. 

To pay out, veer away, or slacken are all synonymous terms for 
letting out a cable to a greater or less distance. To pay it out cheajt 
is to slacken out quickly or throw the cable over-board in bulk. 

To slip the cable is to let it go from the ship, an operation which 
may sometimes be necessary in emergency. 

Cable laid, cablet. (See under ROPE.) 

Caboose.— A cooking house on the deck of a ship. (See COBOOSE. ) 

Cackling.— (See Keckling.) 

Cadet (Naval). — A youth who, having been i • 
duly nominated to the Navy, holds a preparatory jjJ, 
appoin tment thereto. .']¥ 

Caique. — A small Levantine vessel or fishing t^r^rSiiaJl 
boat or the eastern Mediterranean. v-^^V /"*--^ri 

Call. — The small pipe (often of silver) used \/"/>\ / / \\/ 
by the lwatswain of a ship in piping orders. ^V| l^v"^"^ 

Camber. — 1. A curvature upwards. A boat's \j 

deck, if curving upwards from side to side, or Q 

from stem to stern, is said to be cambered, Camberkd Dkck. 
and also her keel, if it be rounded. 2. A 
small dock, for boats or timber - , is also sometimes called a camber. 




Can Buoy. 

Can buoy (i-e-, cone-buoy). — A buoy in 
the form of a cone — not of a can. 

Canal.— An artificial ditch or channel filled 
with -water for purposes of inland navigation. 
It usually has a pathway on one or both sides, 
called the tow path. Canals may be said to 
intersect the whole surface of England. 

Canoe.— The native American name for a 
lx>at made out of a single trunk of a tree ; but 
as we understand the term in England it means 
any boat propelled by paddles, of which there are various sorts. 

Canoe riy. — Sailing canoes are generally rigged with main, 
mizzen, and foresail ; and their 
sails are often battened — that is, 
have battens, or splines, sewn in 
across them, both to keep them 
flat and to help in reefing them. 
Many fantastic devices may be 
indulged in with canoes, and 
some have a complete system 
of tiny blocks on their main and 
mizzen sails, so arranged that 
by pulling on a thin lanyard led 
aft to the helmsman a reef may 
}>e taken in without his moving 
from his place in the well. 

Cant. — To turn or lean over or round ; the term is somewhat 
vaguely applied. A piece of wood used for the support of some 
part of a construction is also called a cant. 

" Cant is a term used to express the position of any piece of timber 
that does not stand square, and then it is said to be on the cant." 

CantUng. — The act of turning plank or timber to see theopposite side. 

Cant-pieces. — Pieces of timber inserted and annexed to the angles of 
fishes and side-trees, so as to supply any part that may prove sappy 
or rotten. 

Cant timbers. — "Those timbers which are situated at the two ends 
of a ship. They derive their name from being canted or raised 
obliquely from the keel, in contradistinction to those whose planes 
are perpendicular to it. " (Falconer's Dictionary. ) 

Cant to. — To tvirn with the tide, as a vessel at anchor swings 
when the tide changes. 

Canvas. — The material of which the sails of a ship are made. 
But the word has another meaning in its general application to all 
or any of the sails set ; as to say, for instance, that a boat spreads 
"all her canvas, "or that she sails under "racing canvas, " press 
canvas, shortened canvas, etc. 

Cap. — Generally speaking, a ring at the end of a spar. 

Upper and lower cap. — The fittings to the head of a mast, 

Canoe Big with Battened Sails. 


through -which an upper or top mast travels. The upper ring is 
called the cap ; the lower, the yoke or lower cap. (See Mast. ) 

To cap a rope. — To cover the end of it with tarred canvas and 
tvhip it with yarn or twine. 

Capful of wind. — A slight breeze. 

Cape. — The extreme point of a promontory. When high and ter- 
minating at an acute angle, it is called a point. When low and 
of small projection it becomes a ness, or in Scotland a mull. Thus 
we have Morte Point, Orford Ness, Mull of Galloway. The word 
Naze may also be regarded as ness. 

Cappanus. — " The worm which adheres to and gnaws the bottom 
of a ship. " (Falconer.) 

Capsize (of a boat). — To turn it completely over in the water, as 
it might be if caught on the head of a breaker, or in smooth water, 
if those in it insist in sitting all on one side. 

To capsize a rope — to turn it over. Coils are capsized after being 
made so that the rope shall run out from 
the top of the coil. 

Capstan. — A "wheel and axle," 
usually revolving in a horizontal 
position, that is, the axle being 
placed upright, and worked by long 
levers inserted into the head. Its 
use is to obtain great power in haul- 
ing, and thus it may be found in a 
ship for hauling in a cable, etc., or on 
a quay or dock ; and in these days it Capstan. 

is often worked by steam. 

Carboy. — A large glass bottle protected by basket work. They 
usually contain acids, and may often be seen on canal harges. 

Cardinal points (of the compass). — The four main points, North, 
South, East, and West. (See Compass.) 

Careen. — To heel or make to lie over on one side. The opera- 
tion of heaving the ship down to one side, by the application of 
a strong purchase to her masts, so that she may be breamed. But 
copper sheathing has superseded the necessity for this. A vessel is 
also said to careen when she inclines under press of canvas, at sea. 

Carlings. or carlines (in ship-building). — Short beams 
running fore and aft between the great transverse beams, which 
they bind securely together. They also aid in supporting the deck. 
(See diagrams under Frame.) 

Carrick bend. — A peculiar form of knot. 

Carronade. — A peculiar, short piece of ordnance of early days, so 
called from Carron, the town in Scotland in which it Mas first made. 

Carry away. — To break or lose any part of the rigging of a 
vessel, as a spar which may be snapped or a sail blown out. Thus 
it may be said of a yacht that she " carried away her topmast " — 
meaning that it broke. 


Carry on. — To spread the utmost extent of canvas possible, as 
a yacht may do in racing. But the term is usually understood to 
mean that she is crowding it on at a risk. 

Carvel. —A method of boat building in which the strakes are 
flush one with another and present a smooth surface. (See Build.) 

Case. — The outer layer of planking on a boat. This name, however, 
only exists where there is a double layer, as in diagonally built craft. 
The inner layer is then called the case, and that outside it the skin. 

Cast. — Casting off a boat's head is to pay it off when she has 
come on the proper tack. 

To cast anchor. — To let go anchor. (See ANCHOR.) 

Cast aivay. — Lost. 

Castor and Pollux. — " The name given to an electric meteor 
which sometimes appears at sea, attached to the extremities of the 
masts of ships under the form of balls of fire. When one bight only 
is seen, it is called Helena. The meteor is generally supposed to 
indicate the cessation of a storm or a future calm ; but Helena, or 
one ball only, to portend bad weather. " (Brande and Cox.) 

Cat. — A name at one time given to a ship of peculiar build, and 
used, commonly, in the coal trade. Falconer describes its form a^ 
founded upon the Norwegian model, having a narrow stern, pro- 
jecting quarters, and deep waist. " These vessels," he says, "are 
generally built remarkably strong, and cany from four to six 
hundred tons ; or, in the language of their own mariners, from 
twenty to thirty keels of coal." Vessels answering tolerably well 
to such a description may still be seen in the North Sea. 

The cat, on shipboard, is that part which has to do with the 
anchor and weiglung it. Thus we have the cathead, a timber 
projecting from the bow, to which the anchor is secured. 

Cat block, a block which is attached to the anchor when it reaches 
the cat-heads. 

Cat hook, the hook by which the cat block is attached. 

Cat fall, the rope, passing through the cat block, by which tlie 
anchor is hauled inwards, and all of these constitute the cat tackle. 

Cat holes, in the stern of a ship, are holes through which a cable 
passes when it may be necessary to heave the ship astern. 

Cat harpings, in the rigging of a ship, are ropes used to draw 
in the shrouds of masts or bowsprits that they may not interfere 
with the yards, etc. 

Cat rig, with sailing boats, etc., is a rig of one sail, the 
peculiarity of which consists in the manner in which the sail is 
hoisted. The mast is stepped very far forward, and a yard con- 
siderably longer than the mast runs along it, carrying a sail which 
is supposed to represent both the main and top-sail of other rigs. It 
is claimed for the cat-rig that it possesses great advantages in reef- 
ing. An improvement on it, consisting chiefly in the introduction 
of a reefing boom, was brought in by a Mr. Forbes, of America, some 
years ago ; the description of this improved rig is quoted in Mr. 
Davies' " Boat Sailing for Amateurs." 



Cat's para. — 1. A name sometimes given to a light wind which 
sweeps gently over the surface of the sea in a calm, and then 
dies away. It is seen coming from a distance, and often in a 
triangular form. 2. Of a rope. — A peculiar turn given to a rope 
in order to hook a tackle to it is also called a cat's paw. 

Catamaran. — A species of sailing raft used in the Indies. Its 
motions are controlled by two drop-hoards let down, one from the 
fore part, the other astern, through the raft, and by means of these 
it may not only be steered to a nicety, hut made to sail on the wind, 
tack and turn, just in the same manner as a hoat. This raft is des- 
cribed in a most interesting manner by Captain Basil Hall in the 
" Lieutenant and Commander." 

Catch, (in rowing). — The grip (the more proper term) which an 
oar gets of the water at the commencement of a stroke. It should 
be firm and continuous, taken quickly, but without excitement ; 
and there is no doubt that thus performed it produces great speed. 

Catching a crab. — The art is described under the word Crab. 

Caulking. — The operation performed upon wooden vessels to pre- 
vent leakage, and assist in fixing the whole frame of the hull. It 
consists of stuffing the seams (the spaces between the planks) with 
oakum, and then payiiig them with hot pitch. 

Cavil. — (See Cleat.) 

Centre-board, centre-keel « 
drop - keel. — A heavy, movable 
plate of iron, lead, or timber let 
down below the keel of a sailing 
boat, al>oiit midships. It serves a 
two-fold purpose, acting at once as 
a lee-board — enabling the boat to 
carry more sail than she otherwise 
could — and as a lifting keel which, 
in case of her running aground, can 
be raised immediately, thereby re- 
ducing the draught of the boat and 
enabling her to float again. In run- 
ning before the wind a centre-board 
is raised, so that as small a resist- 
ance as possible may l>e presented 
to the water ; in sailing close hauled 
it is let down to its fullest : and 
according to the spread of canvas 
carried and the direction of the 
wind, its depth between these ex- 
tremes may be varied. 

But the accumulation of all the weight and depth of a keel into 
one place may be carried to excess ; and should the movable keel be 
made heavier than a light hull can well bear, its tendency is to 
render the boat too stiff, and thereby to destroy its buoyancy. The 



best material of which the plate can be made under these circum- 
stances would seem to be wood ; and to render it heavy it may be 
weighted at the bottom. There are various forms of centre-board. 
The most simple is a plain plate, dropped evenly down ; but being 
very apt to jam it is not much used. It is, however, in many 
respects, the best. But the favourite arrangement is the board 
which swings on a pivot, and of this there are many patterns, of 
which some, almost semi-circular in shape, are called cheeseeutters. 
In another form one board works inside another, opening like a fan, 
so that the depth of keel can be better calculated. This, though 
apparently good in principle, is not much used except for canoes. 
The exact position of a centre-board is of great moment ; it depends 
upon the shape of the boat, the use to which she is to be put, and 
the sail area. For sea boats a great depth of centre-keel is not 
found to answer, while on smooth waters it may be considerable. 
In all measurements for racing, the board is let down to its fullest 
extent. For boats intended to be beached, the centre-board is 
peculiarly Avell suited ; but it is not on this account to be concluded 
that the invention has its origin in beached boats, since, long 
before it ever came into general use, it was habitually employed 
in boats which were never hauled up on land. In one form or 
another, indeed, whether as lee-board or centre-board, it maybe said 
to date from time immemorial. 

Centre of buoyancy. — The centre of gravity of the water 
displaced by any vessel. 

Chafe. — To rub or wear away by rubbing. 

Chaffer. — Spoken of a head sail, and more particularly of a jib, 
when it keeps shivering. 

Chain. — Chain is becoming more used in shipping every 
year, and is now, therefore, made in a variety of shapes and 
sizes. The principle upon which the manufacture is founded 
may be quoted, thus : — " Much depends upon the shape of links 
in order to obtain the greatest resistance of a chain ; and as long 
as the strain is kept in the direction of the axis, the strongest 
form will be obtained when the sides of the chain are parallel to the 
line of strain. But as this is often in a direction perpendicular to 
the axis, it is essential to introduce a stay which should maintain 
the sides invariably in their position, and to resist any unequal com- 
pression of the metal in the sides. " The stay here spoken of is often 
seen in cables, and constitutes that which is known as the " stud 
link " ; it is wrought or cast in various patterns. 

The most common chains in use (see fig.) are: round or end 
link ; close-link ; open-link ; stud-link ; curb. Round-linked chains 
are not used for nautical purposes, but a circular link usually occurs 
in cables, at the end of every chain length, and is therefore called 
an end-ring. Open-linlc is the pattern most frequently employed 
for all general purposes, both at sea and ashore, being the most 





generally serviceable and the least expensive : cables 
of small craft are of this pattern. Stud-link is 
found in the cables of large vessels, for reasons 
above quoted. Curb chain is somewhat rare, being 
expensive ; it is powerful, and when twisted 
becomes quite rigid. 

A chain length is 12£ fathoms. A cable length 
is the tenth of a nautical mile ; approximately 100 
fathoms. The thickness of a chain is measured 
by the thickness of the bar of which it is made. 
" A chain of which the section is one inch in 
diameter breaks with 16 tons ; such a chain is 
equivalent to a lOin. hempen cable nearly. And 
the dimensions of the chain cable corresponding 
to any hemp cable are therefore easily found by 
nearly dividing the circumference of the hemp 
cable by 10." The formula for the safe load 
of a chain in tons has been thus given : 

D=vW or W = 5_\ 

Where W=the safe load, and D=the diameter 
expressed in £ths of an inch, the weight of 
chain in lbs. per fathom = *85D 2 . " In order that 
the ship may be enabled to let slip her cable in 
case of necessity, chain cables are furnished with 
bolts at distances from each other of a fathom or 
two, which can be readily withdrawn. " 

Chain-locker. — The hold in the fore part of a 
boat into which the anchor chain descends. 

Chains or channel plates. — Iron bars or plates on 
a vessel's sides, running upwards, and receiving the deadeyes by 
which the shrouds are held down. In large vessels the channel 
plates are kept down by strong chains, hence the name. Where 
the vessel has channels the chains are kept away from the bulwarks 
by them, but in smaller craft the channels are dispensed with and 
the plates simply run up the sides somewhat higher than the 
gunwales. In such craft these plates are frequently called the 
channels. {See CHANNELS.) 

Chain bolts. — " Those bolts which are driven through the upper 
end of the preventer plates and the toe link of the chains." This 
has reference to large vessels of the old type, when the chain (or 
channel) plates were held down by iron chains from beneath. 

Chamfer. — To take the edge off or bevel a plank, which is then 
said to have chamfered edges. 

Changing rigging end for end. — This consists in turning 
any such ropes as may be chafing in one place, end for end, so as to 
bring all parts into equal wear. Rigging changed thus will 
naturally last longer than when allowed to wear bare without 



turning ; but the ropes in small boats are so sbort that the practice 
is not much followed. 

Channels {chain wales — i.e., the ivales upon which certain ehaitis 
are fixed). — In ships these are wooden platforms projecting from the 
hull on each side of each mast ; their office is to keep the chains 
and channel plates away from the sides. These channel plates or 
chain plates are flat bars of iron running in an upward direction 
from beneath the channels, and taking the deadeyes by which the 


1/ i. „ vV 



/'NiTIAl cr LANYAAI5. 




shrouds of the masts are held down. In smaller craft and in many 
modern vessels the channels proper disappear, the plates remaining in 
their place; while in sailing boats even these plates are dispensed with, 
and both channels and plates may become little more than eye-bolts. 
The name channels is still retained, however, so that as far as 
amateur sailing is concerned, channels may almost be described as 
those points on the sides of a boat to ivhich the bases of the shrouds are 
attached. When the channels project to any great extent, as is 
sometimes the case in very narrow boats, they may be called out- 
rigged channels. Many barges are without channel plates, because 
the lee-boards come in the way of them. 

Chappelling. — Chappelling a ship is "the act of turning her round 
in a light breeze of wind when she is close-hauled, so that she will 
lie the same way she did before. This is commonly occasioned by the 
negligence of the steersman, or by a sudden change of the wind. " 

Charring. — Binning the external surface of wood. It is a 
valuable process for the preservation of piles or any timbers which 
may be subjected to alternate exposure to the air and submersion in 
water. The water line of all piles is, as is well known, the part most 
liable to decay ; charring is found to some extent to delay this decay. 


Chart. — Roughly speaking, a map of the sea hottom and coast 
projections, for the use of navigators. Any person intending to 
cruise round the coast should be provided with charts, and should 
first learn to read them. Fournier ascribes the invention of sea- 
charts to Henry, son of John, King of Portugal. 

Charter-party. — A contract in mercantile law between the 
owner of a ship and one who lures part or the whole of it under 
specified conditions. 

Chasse-marees. — The coasting and fishing vessels of the 
French shores of the Channel, often seen in our own ports. They are 
bluff bowed and lugger rigged, with one, two, or three masts, often 
carrying topsails. 

Cheat the devil. — Using soft expletives where strong ones 
would most naturally occur. 

Check. — Obviously to stop or impede motion, as to check the 
anchor's cable from veering out. But the word is more frequently 
used in the opposite sense, as when applied to a rope or the sheet of 
a sail, it will mean to ease it off or let it go a little. 

Cheeks. — Generally speaking, brackets or stoppering pieces on 
a spar or elsewhere. Thus the knee pieces fastened to a ship's stem 
are sometimes called cheeks. On a mast the cheeks are brackets a 
short distance below the mast-head, and upon these are placed the 
trestle, trees, which support the cross-trees. (See Mast.) The cheeks 
of a block are the two sides of its shell. (See Block.) 

Cheese-cutter. — A form of centre-board. (See Centre-Board.) 

Chess-trees (in a ship). — " Two small pieces of timber on each 
side of it, a little before the loof, having a hole iu them, through 
which the main tack runs, and to which it is haled down." (Bailey's 
Dictionary. ) Pieces of wood bolted, perpendicularly, one on each 
side of the deck of a ship and bored with holes on the upper part. 
They are employed to hold the tack of a square mainsail to wind- 
ward, and for this purpose are placed as far before the mast as the 
length of the main beam, the tack line of the sail passing through 
the holes. 

Chest-rope- — See Guest-rope. 

Chimes. — The intersection of the lines forming the sides and the 
bottom of a flat-bottomed boat. 

Chinckle. — A small bend or bight in a line. 

Chine. — 1. "That part of the waterway which is left above the 
deck, that the lower seam of spirlcetting may more conveniently be 
caulked " (Falconer), — the spirketting being the strakes on the ends 
of the beams. 2. The back of a cliff ; as the Black Gang Chine 
(Isle of Wight). 

To chine out. — To hollow out slightly. 

Chips. — The name by which a ship's carpenter is often spoken of, 
and hence the popular phrase " a chip of the old block." 


Chock. — 1. Any nondescript blocks of wood, as wedges used to 
prevent anything from shifting when a vessel rolls, or as rudder 
chocks which fix a rudder in case of emergency , , 

etc. 2. The pieces used in filling the timbers of 
a vessel to its planks, i.e., filling up the shape 
where necessaiy so that the curves of the 
planking shall be preserved. (See diagram 
under Frame.) 

Chock-a-block — One block hauled close up 
to another, so that the power they give is 
destroyed until they are drawn asunder or 

Chow chow. — A popular term for eat- 
ables ; from the Chinese. 

Chuck. — Sometimes called a fairlead or 
lead/air. A guide for a rope or chain, over 
the gunwale of a boat. It is most usually 
of metal : in yachts sometimes of brass. Chock-a-Block. 
Fairleads are of different forms; but any 
ring or eye-bolt which leads a rope is a fairlead (ichich see). 

Cirrus. — The cloud called " mare's-tails. " Seen towards evening 
it often portends wind to follow, especially if giving the appearance 
of having been torn. 

Clamp. — On a boom, the cleat, at the after end, through which 
the reef-pendants are passed, when reefing the' sail. (See under 

To clamp, in carpentering or shipbuilding, is to fix two pieces 
of wood together by a mortise or a groove and tongue, so that the 
fibres of each crossing each other may prevent warping. 

Clap OH. — To put on — as to clap a purchase on to a tackle. Also 
spoken of men, as to clap several hands on to a purchase. 

Clap ier. — A fitting between the jaws of a gaff to prevent that 
from jamming as it descends the mast. Sometimes called a tumbler. 

Clasp hook. — A hook which clasps a ring, or stay, or rope. It 
is included in the general term hank. 

Class.— The class of a boat is the group to which she belongs, as 
schooner, yawl, etc. In yacht racing it is the group in which she is 
placed after measurement. A vessel is said to outclass others when 
she is very much superior to those in her own class. 

Clawing off. — This generally presupposes a vessel to be close into 
or being driven on to a lee shore, and the act of getting away by 
sailing her as close to the wind as she can be made to go while still 
keeping good way on is called clawing off. 

Clean. — The sharp part of a ship's hull, under water, both for- 
ward and aft. 

Clearing. — The passing of a vessel through the Customs after ?' 
has visited a foreign port. The Board of Trade directs that 




vessel, after visiting a foreign port, shall report herself to the officers 
of the Customs, at the first British port she enters. As a signal that 
she has been abroad she must fly the ensign from sunrise to sunset, 
and expose a light under her bowsprit by night, until she has been 

Clearing hawse. — (See under HAWSE.) 

Cleat, kevel, or cavil. — A species of 
hook, usually of two arms, fastened to 
the deck or any other suitable and con- 
venient part of a boat, around which 
sheets, halyards, springs, etc., may be 
wound without being knotted. Cleats are 
of various forms, as will be seen by the 
figure. They are required to sustain great 
strains and sudden jerks, and must, there- 
fore, be securely fixed. Where several 
are placed close together they are, for 
additional security, fixed to a strengthening 
plate, or plank, which is called a rail. A 
thumb-cleat or spur is a small wedge let 
into a spar to prevent a rope from slipping ; 
it is also found in various parts of the 
vessel. (See fig., also Thumb cleat.) 

Clench, or clinch. — 1. To jam down. 

With ropes. — To jam down by a half 

2. Clench building. — Another term for 
clincher building. (See BUILD.) 

Clew. — The clew is the lower corner of a 
sail, and unless otherwise described is the after lower corner; but 
the tack, or forward corresponding corner, is sometimes called the 
weather clew. This will apply equally to square or fore-and-aft 
sails ; but in square sails each lower cor ner is a clew, and each 
becomes the tack (or weather clew) alternately, as the ship comes 
about. This, however, cannot be the case in fore-and-aft rig, since 
the forward part of such sails always remains in situ; and there- 
fore in yachts and such like craft the clew will always be the after 
lower corner of the sail, and though the tack may often be spoken 
of as the " weather clew " it still always remains the tack, i.e., the 
forward lower corner. 

To clew up is to gather up a sail by its clew-bines. 

Clew garnets, clew lines. — On square sails will be bines, or ropes, 
attached to the clews, i.e., to the lower corners ; from thence tney 
run to a block fastened to the middle of the yard. On the lower 
sails, or "courses," as these are termed, these same lines are called 
'he clew garnets, the name lines being only appropriated to the clew 

'°ts of the topsails. The use of these clew lines, or garnets, is to 
up the clews of the sails to the middle of the yards so that 


Various Cleats. 



they may be furled. Clew lines in fore-and-aft rigged vessels, 
sometimes called tripping lines, answer much the same purpose, but 
they will naturally be differently disposed. The clew line of a gaff 
topsail, for instance, is attached to the clew (i.e., the after lower 
corner), passes across to the forward end of the topsail yard, and 
thence down on deck : by hauling upon it the topsail is then clewed 
up to its yard. (See fig. under TOPSAIL. ) 

A great clew. — When square sails gore outwards towards the clew, 
that is, are considerably wider at the foot than the head, they are 
said to have a great clew. And when yards are very long so that the 
sails are more than usually wide, they are described as spreading a 
great clew. 

Clew to earing. — An expression which describes the condition of 
a square sail when the foot has been drawn up to the head, i.e., the 
clew to the earing. 

Click. — A small stopper, or pawl, dropping into the teeth of th© 
rack-wheel of a windlass to prevent the wheel from running backwards. 

Clincher, clench, or lapstrake. — A method of building a 
boat in which the strakes overlap. (See BUILD.) 

To clinch. — To jam down — the same as to clench. 

Clip. — That part of a gaff or boom which is fashioned into homs, 
or jaws, so as to partly encircle a mast. (See under GAFF.) 

Clip-hooks or sail-hanks (some- 
times called sail-hooks). — A com- 
bination of two hooks jointed to- 
gether to face each other, so as 
to clip a rope on each side. To 
keep them from shaking apart 
they are usually moused at the 
neck. (See Mouse.) 

Sheet clips. — Small metal im- 
plements fixed to the deck in cer- 
tain sailing boats or small yachts 
(more especially those intended 
for single-handed sailing) to take 
the place of sheet cleats. A rope 
being passed into one of these is 
firmly gripped until, being lifted, 
it is immediately released. 

Close-hanled.— The manner 
in which a vessel's sails are dis- 
posed when she is sailing as close 
to the wind (i.e., as nearly against the wind) as she can go ; e.g., in 
fore-and-aft rig, the sheets hauled close, and in square rig the yard* 
braced up, the sheets well home, and the bowlines hauled taut. So, 
therefore, to be sailing with taut bowline is to be close-hauled. When 
thus close-hauled to the wind a boat is said to be sailing on the wind, by 
the wind, or full and by the wind, and if, when close-hauled, she carries- 


Various Clips 4 




a lee-helm she is said to be hauling 
on the wind. (See under Lee-helm. ) 

Close-lined.— {See Line.) 

Close - reefed. — When all the 
reefs are taken in so that the area 
of the sails may be as small as pos- 
sible. (See fig. ; also under Reef. ) 

Close-winded. — A boatis some- 
times said to be close- winded when 
she can sail very close to the wind. 

Cloth (of a sail). — One of the 
strips of canvas which go to com- 
pose a sail is so called, (See Sail.) 

Clothe. — To put on the sails and 
furniture to a vessel ; that is her 
masts, rigging, and all accessories. 
In other words, to fit her out. 

Clubbing. — Drifting with the 
tide with an anchor down ; 
a vessel clubbing will there- 
fore be taken stern first. 
This method of dropping 
down on a tide is only em- 
ployed when the tide runs 
very strong, and it is neces- 
sary to keep the boat under 
command of the rudder. It 
may be seen daily at Yar- 
mouth; the sailing wher- 
ries coming in from the 
rivers on an ebb tide drop 
their anchors short, and by 
this means club down to 
their quays. Without some £ 
such method of opposing ~~~-~^2 
the strength of the current, 
they would be swept past 
their landing places. 

Club-liaxiling. — " In navigation, a critical mode of tacking, 
resorted to only in perilous situations, when a ship has no other 
escape from running ashore. It consists in letting go the lee-anchor 
as soon as the wind is out of the sails, thereby bringing the ship's 
head to wind. She will then pay off, when the cable is cut and the 
sails are trimmed. By this process the tack is accomplished in a far 
shorter distance than it could otherwise be." (Brande and Cox.) 
In the last volume of James' Naval History (ed. 1837) will be 
found an account of the club-hauling of H.M.S. Magnificent off the 
coast of France between the reef of Chasseron and the Isle de lie, 

E 2 



during a south-westerly gale. Captain Marryat, in his "Peter 
Simple," mentions club-hauling, and Peter in his examination says 
that one of his former captains performed "the hauling business." 
The operation, with a sailing yacht, would consist of paying an 
anchor out astern and then hauling on it by a spring, so as to cast off 
the boat's head. 

Clyde lug.— [See Lug.) 

Coach. — In rowing, one who teaches a crew, or prepares them 
for a race. 

Coak, or bush.. — The central piece of the sheave of a block. It is 
usually of gun metal and of curious form — this being to prevent its 
turning in the sheave. The section is in the form of an equilateral 
triangle, upon each of the sides of which a semicircle is described ; 
and in the centre it is bored with 
a hole through which the pin runs. 

Coaming. — A raised edge or 
planking round a hatchway or 
the well of a yacht. Its use is 
to prevent any water which may 
wash over the deck from getting 
down below, and to effect this 
properly it should not (except in 
small boats) form one continuous 
wall round all hatchways, but should leave the spaces between 
them open, so that water shipped may run off to leeward instead of 
being allowed to come aft. 

Coastguard.—" A semi-naval organisation of seamen, mostly 
living along the shores of the United Kingdom, intended originally 
for the prevention of smuggling ; but since the removal of prohibi- 
tive import duties, and the consequent decrease of smuggling, con- 
verted into a force for the defence of the coasts." The men are old 
men-of-war's men of good character, liable to service at all times. 
The service is under a controller-general having rank as a commodore. 

Coat. — A coat of tar or paint is one application of either. 

Cobbing. — " A punishment sometimes inflicted at sea. It is per- 
formed by striking the offender a certain number of blows on the 
breech with a flat piece of Avood called the cobbing-board." 

Coble.— An open boat varying in form according to locality. 
The coble of the Northumbrian coast is a boat of somewhat 
remarkable appearance, and equally remarkable in its suitability to 
the work demanded of it ; it sails well, rows well and beaches well, 
and is the safest boat one could well find. The following is the de- 
scription of it as given by Mr. Davies in his " Boat Sailing for 
Amateurs :" " The bows are very sharp, and very high, with a 
great sheer to throw off the sea, and depth to give lateral resist- 
ance. The sharp bows rapidly fall away, until all the after portion 
of the boat is quite flat and shallow. The keel, which commences 



Northumbrian Coble. 

with the bow, ends amidships, and from there to the stern are two 
keels, or draughts, one each side of the flat bottom. The stem is 
very raking, and the rudder projects a considerable distance below 
it, as shown in the figure. Thus the entire lateral resistance of the 
boat is given by the deep bow 
and the deep rudder. These 
boats are very sensitive to any 
touch of the helm ; they will 
go wonderfully close to the 
wind, and at a perfectly mar- 
vellous speed ; their sharp, 
flaring bows throw off any 
reasonable sea, and altogether 
they are admirably suited for %. 
the work which they have to 
undergo. Then, when they 
have to be beached, their 
bows are turned to the sea, the rudder is unshipped, and the boat 
backed ashore, where she sits high and dry, as far as her stern is 
concerned. " These boats are usually rigged with a standing or 
dipping lug. Cobles are also employed on the rivers and lakes of 
Wales and the borders. 

Coboose.— " A sort of box or house to cover the chimney of some 
merchant ships. It somewhat resembles a sentry-box, and generally 
stands against the barricade on the fore part of the quarter deck. 
It is the place where victuals are cooked on board merchant ships. " 
(Falconer.) So, in the modern sense, a coboose, or caboose, is a 
sort of cook-house on the deck of a ship. 

Cock- — In ancient days the general name for a yawl. 

Cock-a-bill or a'cock-bill. — An expression signifying that an anchor 
hangs over a vessel's sides with its flukes extended. {See ANCHOR.) 

Cock-boat. — An old name for a small boat only used on rivers or 
smooth waters. 

Cock-pit. — 1. In old battle ships, the cockpit was the after portion 
of the lowest deck, and in frigates was assigned to the use of the 
midshipmen. 2. In yachts it is the lower part of the well. 3. In 
sailing boats, the open space in the deck. In the two latter cases, 
however, the word well is more frequently used. 

Cockle shell. — A term used to describe a small or very bight boat, 
which is supposed to be no safer on the waters than a cockle shell. 

Code signals. — A collection of signs or symbols reduced to an 
orderly arrangement and made use of by vessels at sea or from 
stations ashore. There is now an international nautical code made 
general use of by three methods, — vjz. , flags, long distance signals, 
and the semaphore ; and besides this code there are various others 
less commonly employed, and others, again, used by individuals or 
by shipping companies, called private codes. For a description of 
the signals employed in the International Code see under SIGNALS. 


Coil. — 1. (In commerce.) — A coil of rope is a certain quantity (113 
fathoms). 2. (On shipboard.) — A coil is a heap of rope coiled up. 
3. To coil rope is to lay it, or make it up, in a series of coils or 
rings ; and this, with ordinary rope, is done in the direction of the 
hands of the clock. The hollow space in the middle is called the tier. 
One circle is a. fake. 

Flemish coil. — To coil a rope in fanciful patterns. 

Collapsable boat. — A boat which for convenience of taking it 
on board a small vessel is capable of being folded up into a small 
space. Several forms of these boats have been invented from time 
to time, but none have come into general use. The Berthon is, 
perhaps, most used. Mr. Davies, in his " Boat Sailing for 
Amateurs, " describes one or two of these. 

Collar Knot.— (See Knots. ) 

Collier. — A vessel employed in the coal trade. 

Collision. — When two vessels collide they are said to be in 
collision; and the same term is employed in the past sense, as " they 
were in collision." The Board of Trade issue instructions for the 
Prevention of Collisions at Sea ; and these constitute that which is 
popularly called the Rule of the Road (which see). 

Comb, or comb-cleat. — A small wooden board through which 
ropes are passed to be led fair. (See Cleat.) 

Come. — A word used at sea under various circumstances, as 
" The anchor comes horned i.e., it drags. A ship is said to come to 
when she. luffs right up into the wind or stops in a certain spot. 
So also, when she comes round in tacking, she is said to have come 
about. And the order in sailing to come no nearer will mean that 
she is not to be brought too close to the wind, to impress which 
meaning upon the mind of the beginner the French equivalent, 
" Pas au vent," is, perhaps, more explicit. To come up the fall 
(rope) of a tackle, is to slacken the rope. To come up the capstan is 
to let it go a contraiy way to that in hauling up, and is, therefore, 
to slacken it. To come up with another vessel, or some landmark, 
is to overtake or pass it. 

Commander. — In the Koyal Navy an officer holding a position 
between the captain and the lieutenant. 

Commodore. — The senior captain of a squadron when there is 
no admiral present. The elected head of a yachting club is usually 
called, by compliment, the commodore of that club. 

Common bend.— (See Knot.) 

Companion. — Properly the covering over a ladder or staircase 
in a ship ; but the ladder itself is popularly called the companion. 

Compass. — An instrument which, by means of a magnetised 
bar, indicates the magnetic meridian. The disc or face of the 
mariner's compass consists of a circular card, sometimes trans- 
parent, the circumference of which is divided into 32 parts, called 
points. These points may be again divided into two, each division 



being a half-point, and these again into quarter-points. Thus there 
are 32 points in the compass, and between eacli are half and quarter 
points. Each point is named and marked on the card with the 
initial letters of its name, as N. for North, N. by E. for North 
by East, N.N.E. for North North-East, N.E. for North-East, 
and so on. The cardinal points are North, South, East, and 
West : these cut the card into four quarters, and each quarter 
is divided into 8 points, the whole 32 being as follow : — 

North opposite to South 

North by East „ „ South by West 

North North-east „ „ South South-west 

North-east by North „ „ South-west by South 

North-east „ „ South-west 

North-east by East „ „ South-west by West 

East North-east „ „ West South-west 

East by North „ „ West by South 

East „ „ West 

East by South „ „ West by North 

East South-east „ „ West North-west 

South-east by East „ „ North-west by West 

South-east ' „ „ North-west 

South-east by South ,, „ North-west by North 

South South-east „ „ North North-west 

South by East „ „ North bv West 

South „ North 

Repeating these points, with their opposite equivalents, in the 

order above given, is called boxing the compass, and is required in 

some examinations. Then, however, the half-points are often asked, 

rendering the repetition somewhat more tedious. But the student 

will be astonished to find how quickly he will master this task when 

once taken in hand. The manner of pronouncing the names of the 

points is as follows : — 

Nor'east (or west) ... Sow-west (or east) 

Nor' Nor '-east (or west) ... Sow Sow -west (or east) 
Nor'-east b' east (or west)... Sow-west b' west (or east) 
In boxing the compass with the half-points : — 

North £ East is opposite South i West 

North by East \ East „ „ South by West | West 
West £ North „ „ East $ South 

North-west £ North „ „ South-east £ South 

and so on from North to East and thence to South. 

Tt has been stated that the dial of the compass is a card upon 
which the points are marked. The north point is always to 
be distinguished at a glance by a large arrow head. This card 
is fixed to an iron bar or needle laid exactly in the line mark- 
ing north and south, one end of it having been previously magnet- 
ized. It is then eitber balanced on a pin or floated in spirit in a 
semi-globular basin ; this basin, by an arrangement of two rings, 



called gimbals, set at right angles, and one working within the 
other — being so contrived that whatever position the ship may 
assume it always keeps the horizontal. But it does not revolve : 
the card revolves, but the case, though always horizontal, retains the 
same position with respect to the keel line of the vessel. Upon the 
inside of the basin, and in a line with the keel (or, in other words, 
directly in a line with the head and stern of the vessel), is made a 
distinct line or mark, called the lubber's line (see diagram under 
Lubber) : and it is by this mark that the vessel is steered. For if 
the ship be moving due north the lubber's line will exactly meet the 
arrow head on the dial of the compass. But if her head be turned 
easterly, the lubber's line will travel round the dial until it meets 
the letter E. So also, if she be turned south-east, the lubber's line 
will reach the S.E., and finally, if she be steered due south, the 
lubber's line will have moved half round the compass, stopping at 
the S. or southern point on the disc. The lubber's line represents, 
therefore, the ship's head ; and 
at whatever point it stops on 
the compass card, in that direc- 
tion will the ship be moving. 
It is necessary to state, 
however, though without 
entering into any discussion 
on the theory of magnetic 
attraction, that the needle 
does not actually point due 
north. Not only may it be 
attracted by any mass of iron 
brought close to it, but in 
different latitudes its direc- 
tion varies. In iron ships 
there is always a counter at- 
traction to be overcome, the 
amount of which varies ac- 
cording to their position (N. 
and S. or E. and W.) when 
building, and indeed in every 

ship the compass has always to be tested and corrected before 
starting on a voyage. This variation of a ship's compass from 
the time magnetic meridian is called the deviation of the compass, 
and the methods of dealing with this form almost a science in 
itself. Those who would know more of the subject may be referred 
to Lloyds' "Seaman's Almanac." The casein which a deck compass 
is set, with its box and pedestal, constitute that which is known as 
a binnacle. A binnacle does not affect the compass because the same 
attraction is exerted all round, and, moreover, because it is sur- 
rounded by bars of iron which counteract each other's influence ; 
but small compasses, as used in boats or yachts, are very liable to 
be deviated by any iron or steel which may be brought too near 

Mariner's Compass. 


them, and they should be kept as free as possible from all such 

It may be well, in conclusion, to remind the novice that 
whenever a compass is placed on board a boat, its lubber's line, 
or whatever may take the place of a lubber's line (such as the 
handle of the compass), should be set exactly fore-and-aft, that 
is in the same bine as the keel. 

A small compass hanging or fixed to the ceiling of a cabin on ship- 
board is called a tell-tale. By it the captain can see the course of 
the ship without going on deck. 

Composite. — A system of building large ships with an iron 
framing and wood skin. It was brought in soon after the construc- 
tion of ships with iron was begun, and admitted of great strength 
l>eing attained, and the possibility of copper sheathing, which on an 
iron hull is impossible. It was hoped by this means to obtain a 
vessel with the strength of an iron ship and the freedom from foul- 
ing of a wooden ship ; but experience has shown that the wasting 
of the iron from the effects of galvanic action between the copper 
and the iron fastenings renders the system almost impracticable. 
Large yachts are still, however, built in this manner. 

Coil, conning (sometimes pronounced " cun "). — To direct a 
steersman. A person who directs the helmsman of a ship how to keep 
her head is said to be conning the ship. Thus on men-of-war we find 
a conning tower, which is a sort of elevated deck house, containing 
the compass, and from which a good look-out may be obtained. 

Conservators of the Thames. — " A body of modern crea- 
tion representing the Imperial Government, the City of London, 
and the commercial interests of the river, and exercising the general 
powers of harbour and conservancy board over the lower river and 
estuary, as well as those of conservancy on the upper river as far as 
Cricklade." The office of the Thames Conservancy is on the Thames 
Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge. 

Copper. — This is the best material wherewith to preserve the 
lx)ttom of a boat from the attacks of barnacles, etc., as well as from 
the action of the water ; and a boat covered or " sheathed " witli it 
is called copper bottomed. It is customary in the case of yachts to 
wait, before doing this, until the vessel is a year or two old, as 
copper is found to rot the skin of a new boat, besides which the 
timber has a tendency for the first few months to swell or " grow," 
while the copper remains the same. The principal action of the 
water being at the water line, some boats are coppered only round 
that part, at a considerable saving of expense. Intending purchasers 
of boats should remember this, and make careful examination befora 
buying, for it is occasionally the practice of dishonest people to 
describe a boat thus sheathed as copper bottomed. As a substi- 
tute for copper, Muntz metal (which see) answers well, and there are 
various paints sold which also profess to preserve ships' bottoms. 
Nothing, however, is so useful for wooden vessels as copper. 



Welsh Coraclk 

Coracle. — A small boat originally used in 
fresh water fishing. Its origin dates hack 
prohahly to pre-historic times. In Wales and 
the West of England it is still used, heing 
made of wicker, covered with leather, and 
carried by the fishermen upon their hacks. 

Corinthian. — This word has come to mean 
amateur. The Corinthian Yacht Club was 
originally founded as a down - river branch 
of the London Rowing Club ; its object being 
the same as that of other clubs, viz., the en- 
couragement of yacht and boat sailing by 
amateurs. Its headquarters are at Erith, but 
is has also a very flourishing branch at Burn- 
ham-on-Crouch and is known as the Royal 
Corinthian Yacht Club. 

Cork jacket. — A waistcoat or jacket 
made of a number of corks or pieces of cork, completely encircling 
the body, as a preservation against drowning. No boat should be 
without some sort of life preserving belt. (See Life Belt. ) 

Corsair. — A name given in certain parts of Europe to a pirate, 
or his vessel. Corsairs, for centuries the dread of the Mediterranean 
coast, have existed there almost to the present day. They may, in 
fact, be said to still exist, as the attack upon the racing yacht 
Ailsa, on her homeward passage from the south of France in 1895, 
may serve to show. 

Corvette. — One of the smaller vessels of war : the name is a relic 
of the days of wooden ships. 

Counter. — An extension of a vessel's body beyond her stem-post, 
or, in other words, that part of her which projects beyond the stern- 
post. In many instances the counter is purely ornamental, having 
no actual use, while some go so far as to say that it is materially 
detrimental to buoyancy. In some vessels, however, it becomes 
almost a necessity, as, for instance, 
in cutters ; for without it there 
would be no means of getting at 
the reef pendant, while it is also 
useful in a yawl for manipulating 
the mizzen. 

Counter-stay. — One or more small 
timbers or stays projecting aft of 
the stern-post of a vessel to take the 
weight of the counter. They are, of 
course, with in the counter and unseen. 

CowntersunJc. — Bolt heads are often 
countersunk in the same way as the head of an ordinary screw (see fig. ) 
so that they may not protrude beyond the surfaces they hold down. 
The shackle pins of anchor cables are also countersunk. (See CABLE.) 

couei tcssunk 




Course- — The course of a vessel at sea has been thus described : 
" The angle which the ship's track makes with all the meridians 
between the place left and 
the place arrived at." In 
a more homely meaning it 
is the direction in which 
a ship travels ; thus her 
course is N.E. when she 
is moving in a north- 
easterly direction. 

The courses, in a square 
rigged vessel, are those 
square sails which hang 
from the lower masts. 
Thus in a full rigged 
ship the main, fore, and 
mizzen sails will be the 
courses ; the bark is without the mizzen course; the barkentine has 
but the fore course. 

Cove. — A small creek, inlet, or bay. 

Coxswain (pronounced "cox'un "). — The steersman of a boat. 
In rowing language he is usually spoken of as the " cox." His 
position is one of responsibility, for during his office he has command 
of the boat ; and that his orders should be implicitly obeyed stands 
to reason, for the backs of all the rowers are turned in the direction 
in which they are moving. It is not safe, therefore, except on 
open and uncrowded waters, to put the tiller or rudder lines into 
the hands of any but an experienced person, and once there it is 
equally unsafe and foolish for any among the crew to interfere with 
him. The neglect of these simple though essential precautions has 
led to the unnecessary loss of more than one life. 

Crab. — 1. A small capstan. It consists of ten of little more than a 
pillar with two or three small whelps (upright pieces) about it to pre- 
vent the rope from slipping. The small windlasses by which bathing 
machines are drawn vip on a beach are 
sometimes called crabs. Falconer de- 
scribes a crab as a sort of capstan, worked 
by bars like a large capstan, but with the 
bars passing through the head instead 
of being merely inserted as with the 
larger machines. 2. Another engine 
called a crab is a lever of wood, having 
3laws at the working end, and used in 
the launching of vessels. 

Crab-boat. — 1. A boat used in crab 
fishing. 2. An open sailing boat at 
one time common on the coast of Nor- 
folk — hence called the Crorner crab-boat. Cromer Crab- boat. 

— / 


A description of it is given by Mr. Christopher Davies in his " Boat 
Sailing for Amateurs." 

To catch a crab. — An acci- 
dent which may occur in row- 
ing. It consists in failing to 
catch the water with the oar, 
and, by the violence of the 
effort, falling backwards. 
The " art " is naturally more 
practised by beginners, but is 
not confined to them, for the 

catching of a crab has lost Catching a Crab. 

many a trained crew a race. 

Cradle- — I. Blocks or beams of wood placed so that a boat may 
stand on shore. 2. A frame used in the launching of a vessel for 
sending her gently down into the water. 

Craft. — A general term applied by sea-faring men to any collec- 
tion of small decked vessels. Though the term is, properly speaking, 
one of multitude, it is often used in the singular number. Thus 
" river craft " means those vessels, generally, which navigate a river ; 
while the phrase " a nice little craft " is spoken in admiration of a 
single boat. 

Crank, or cranky. — A vessel is said to be crank when she fails 
in the quality called stiffness {which sec), or, in other words, when 
she careens over to a large extent in a light breeze, and, therefore, 
cannot carry much sail ; or when , from want of ballast, she is in 
danger of overturning. 

Cranse-iron. — A cap or ring at the end of a bowsprit, usually 
made with several eyes round it. The ring prevents the spar from 
splitting and the eyes take the blocks through which pass the bob-stay 
and topmast-forestay and bowsprit-shrouds. {See under BOWSPRIT. ) 

Crawl. — A place in which to confine fish, etc. (French, bordigue.) 

Creasote, or kreasote. — A heavy oil, apparently closely 
related to carbolic acid ; it possesses peculiar antiseptic and pre- 
servative qualities, and is made use of in various ways. Wood 
steeped in it is preserved both by the exclusion of air and by the 
destruction of organic impurities. It is a poison when undiluted, 
but when largely diluted it is occasionally used in medicine. 

Creek. — An inlet on the coast or in a river up which the tide 
runs. In some cases, estuaries or small rivers, when resorted to 
as havens by small craft, are called creeks. 

Creel.— {See Kreel.) 

Creeper. — A term sometimes given to a sort of grapnel {ivhich see). 

Crew. — The crew of a vessel consists of all those who are on 
board for the purpose of navigating her. {See also All-told.) 

Crimp. — One of those agents who, before the establishment of 
Sailors' Homes, used to take seamen in, board them, find them 
ships, and finally rob them of their all. There are some still left. 






Cringles. — Loops or eyes, formed in the 
bolt ropes of sails. Through them ropes are 
passed so as to gather up the margins of the 
sail ; and to them pendants are hung for tying 
down the sail in reefing. In fore-and-aft 
rigged craft they are found in the lower 
portion of the leech of a main or mizzen 
sail for passing short lanyards in reefing, 
and are then called reef cringles. If the 
ropes are left permanently in these cringles, 
as is sometimes the case, they are called reef 
pendants; while ropes hanging from the head 
of a sail (more particularly of a square sail) 
are called earings. Iron cringles are some- 
times called hanks. 

Cromer crab boat. — (See under Crab.) 

Cross-jack yard (pronounced " crojek " 
or "crotched"). — In full rigged ships, the 
lowest yard on the mizzen mast. (See under 
Jack and Yard.) 

Cross-jack sail. — The sail bent (attached) 
to the cross-jack ; being of little service it 
is not much used. 

Cross -pawls (in shipbuilding). — Pieces 
of timber which keep the sides of avessel together whilst in her frames. 

Cross-piece. — A piece of wood or iron crossing another. Thus 
the piece which crosses the bitts of a bowsprit is called the cross- 
piece or crossbitt. (See Bowsprit.) 

Cross-trees. — The arms extending, near the head of a mast, at 
right angles to the length of the vessel, and to the extremities of 
which the topmast-shrouds are stretched for the purpose of giving 
support to the topmast. Cross-trees may be of iron or wood, and in 
one piece or two. Many topsail-barges have 
them folding upwards, for convenience in lower- 
ing the mast for up-river work. They are then 
sometimes called jack cross-trees. For the 
manner of fixing cross-trees to the mast see 
under Mast and Trestle Trees. 

Crotches (in shipbuilding). — 1. Timbers 
placed upon the keel in the forward and after 
parts of a vessel, where her form grows narrower. 
2. Supports for a boom. (See CRUTCH.) 

Crow. — An iron lever. 

Crowfoot. — A radiation of many small ropes 
from one, used in securing awnings, etc. (see fig.). 

Crowd. — To set an extraordinary force of sail is said to be 
crowding on sail. 

Crown. — Of an anchor. (See Anchor.) 





Cruise. — A voyage within moderate limits, either 
of pleasure, as in a yacht, or of business, as with a 
fleet, when it goes out for some special purpose. 

Cruiser.— A boat which is intended for cruising; with 
yachts the word is used in contradistinction to racers. 

Crutch. — A trestle supporting the boom of a fore- 
and-aft sail when at rest (see tig.). Its use is to take 
the weight of the boom off the halyards. Its place is 
sometimes taken by a prop called the mitehboard 
(which see). Metal rowlocks are occasionally called 

Cuddy. — 1. On shipboard, a small cabin ; some- 
times the cook-house on deck. 2. In a half-decked 
boat the space enclosed is occasionally called the 

Cunningham's topsails. — A modified form of 
double topsails, employed in square rigged ships since 
their introduction by Cunningham. (See Double 
Topsails. ) 

Currents. — Running movements in the waters, 
often partially independent of the tides. There are 
currents along every coast and in 
every river. Those of his own 
locality should be, to some extent, 
known by anyone who would become 
a good sailsman. 

Customs regulations. — (See 

Cut. — To cut a sail. — To unfurl 
and let it fall down. 

To cut a feather. — To make the 
foam fly as when, with the speed 
of the snip, it curls itself into some- 
thing like the form of a feather. 

Cutting down line. — "A curve 
line used by shipwrights in the 
delineation of ships ; it determines 
the thickness of all the floor- 
timbers, and likewise the height 
of the deadwood afore and abaft. 
It is limited in the middle of the 
ship by the thickness of the floor 
timber, and abaft by the breadth of 
the kelson ; and must be carried up 
so high upon the stern as to leave 
sufficient substance for the breeches 
of the rising timbers." (Falconer's tL 

Dictionary. ) Fig. l (see page 64). 



Cutlass. — A short sword used by men-of-war's men. 
Cutter.—" Sooner or later," says Mr. Christopher Davies, in his 
work on " Boat Sailing for Amateurs," " everyone in whom the love 

of sailing remains, will, if his means and opportunities permit, go in 
for cutter-sailing on the deep blue sea. The cutter is the national 
rig, and it is in an all-round way the best, as it is certainly the 



prettiest." 1. The cutter has but one mast (the main), and under 
ordinary circumstances spreads but four sails, main and top-sails, 
foresail and jib ; and occasionally she adds another, the jib topsail. 
But when racing her spread of canvas is much increased ; an enormous 
balloon jib takes the place of the everyday headsails for reaching, 
while for running she may carry no less than four sails on her mast 
alone ; though it must be notecl that this full complement of press- 
canvas, as it is called, is very seldom seen. (See diagram under 
Balloon Canvas.) The cutter differs from the sloop in the rigging 
of the bowsprit and fore-stays. In the cutter the fore-stay comes 
down to the stem-head of the vessel, and the bowsprit is reeving 
(moveable). In the sloop the fore-stay runs to the end of the bow- 
sprit, which is fixed: the fore-stay then changes its name, and 
becomes known as the jib-stay (see fig. 1, p. 62). This difference is 
further commented upon under the heading Sloop. The principal 
parts of a cutter -yacht are as follow (fig. 2) : (1.) Keel. (2.) Stem- 
post. (3.) Stern-post. (4.) Rudder. (5.) Channels. (6.) Bowsprit. 
(7.) Bowsprit bitts. (8.) Masthead with cap and yoke, trestle-tree, 
and cross-tree. (9.) Topmast hounds. (10.) Truck. (11.) Shrouds. (12.) 
Topmast shrouds, terminating in the legs. (13.) Backstays. (14.) 
Boom. (15.) Gaff, the upper end of which is the peak. (16.) Topsail 
yard. (17.) Topmast fore-stay. On the main sail are the reef bands, 
upon which hang the reef points, and at their extremities the reef 
cringles, through which pendants are rove as at 18. (19.) Topping 
lift. (20.) Peak lines or flag halyards. (21.) Topsail clew line. 

2. Cutter. — A row boat attached to a man-of-war. 

3. Cutter (in rowing matches). — A boat which follows the com- 
petitors. They often follow important sculling matches, carrying 
the trainers or coaches of the competitors, each of whom is allowed, 
under certain restrictions, to direct the progress of bis man. In 
such a case the boat used as cutter is usually an eight-oar. 

Cutter stay fashion. — The method of turning in a deadcye with 
the end of the shroud down. (See diagram under Deadeyes.) 

Catting his painter. — Making off hurriedly — a slang term. 

Cnt-water. — That portion of the stem of a vessel which cleaves 
the water as she moves. (See fig. under 


Dabcliick. — A sporting term for a 
modern racing sail-boat of the smallest 

Dandy. — A small mizzen sail is often 
thus called : it is usually triangular (see fig. ) 
A boat setting this or any such small mizzen 
is sometimes called "dandy- rigged." 






Davit. — A light crane on a ship's sides for lower- 
ing and lifting boats. The projecting beam over 
which the anchor is hoisted is also sometimes called 
a davit. (See fig. ; also under Fish.) 

Davy Jones. — The spirit of the sea. 

Davy Jones' locker. — The bottom of the sea, because 
that is the receptacle of all things thrown overboard. 
And those who have been buried at sea are said to 
have gone to Davy Jones's locker. 

Dead. — A term variously used at sea and in ship- 
building. Thus in sailing : 

Dead calm. — A calm in which the surface of the 
sea is not agitated. 

Dead head. — Any large block used as an anchor 

Dead horse. — The completion of labour which had 
been paid for in advance used sometimes to be hailed 
by seamen, by dragging a dead horse, or something 
made to resemble it, round the ship and then swing- 
ing it out on the yard arm. 

Dead peg. — A dead peg to windward is making 
progress dead in the teeth of the wind. (See Beat. ) 

Dead reckoning. — The rough reckoning of a vessel's 
situation after taking the log and making usual 
allowances ; but without minute observation as with the sextant. 

Dead water. — The water which closes in astern of a ship as she 
moves forward. 

Dead wind. — A wind directly opposed to the course of a ship, 
which may be spoken of as sailing dead against the wind, or mak- 
ing a dead peg to windward. 

A steam vessel making way directly contrary to the wind is said 
to be dead on end. 

To deaden way. — To check a ship's progress. 

In shipbuilding: 

Dead flat, otherwise called the mid-ship bend. It is the lowest 
member of the largest timber (rib) in a vessel each rib being com- 
posed of several pieces). 

Dead lights. — Wooden protectors placed over cabin lights in bad 

Dead rising, or rising line of floor. — The line along the bottom of the 
nterior of a vessel where the flow-timbers join the lower futtocks. 

Dead woods. — Strong wooden members connecting the foot of the 
ead post and that of the stem post with the keel, and also taking 

te ends of the lower strakes of a vessel. That one holding the 

ail post is called the fore deadwood, that one on the stern post the 

'ter deadwood. (See diagram under Frame.) 
~*ead works. — A name at one time given to that part of a vessel 
h is above the water when she is laden. The name is now 
I the freeboard. 




In the rigging of a ship : 

Deadeyes. — Stout discs of wood through which holes (usually 
three in numher) are pierced for the reception of thin ropes called 
lanyards: they are employed as 
blocks connecting the shrouds 
with the channel plates. The 
holes are the eyes, and because 
they are not fitted with pulleys 
they are called "dead," hence: 
" deadeye." Deadeyes are of 
various shapes, though the disc 
form is far the most usual. The 
heart has but one eye, the lower 
edge of which is serrated or 
"scored," so as to grip the 
lanyard. The collar-heart is 
open at the lower ends (see fig. ). 

Dead-ropes. — Those ropes which 
do not run in any blocks. 

Deck. — Generally speaking 
the covering of the interior of a 
ship, either carried completely 
over her or only over a portion. 
Large ships and steam vessels 
may have various decks, as in 
the following list : — 

Main deck. — The principal and 
often the only deck in a vessel. 

Anchor deck. — A small eleva- 
tion in the bows. 

Awning deck. — One completely 
covering over a main deck. 

Bridge deck or bridge house. — 
A deck amidships upon which 
the bridge is placed. 

Fore-castle deck. — One covering taking 
a deck fore-castle. 

Hurricane deck. — An upper 
deck extending across a vessel 
amidships, usually for the officers 
in command. 

Lower deck. — One below the 
main deck. 

Monlcey deck. — Another name for the anchor deck. 

Orlop deck. — The lowest in the ship. In old battle ships this 
deck was below the water line; the cock-pit and certain of the store 
rooms were upon it. 

Poop deck. — One covering the after part of a vessel and forming 
a poop. 



Various Deadeyes. 








Brid ge Deck 




Promenade deck (on passenger ships). — A deck covering the saloon, 
usually reserved to the use of first-class passengers. 

Quarter deck. — That part of the decking which covers 
quarters ; or it 
may he a sepa- 
rate deck raised 
over that por- 
tion, when it is 
called a raised 
quarter deck. 

Shade deck. — 
Much like an 
awning deck, 
but less en- 

Spar deck. — 
A deck above 
the main deck. 

Top - gallant- 
forecastle deck. 
— A larger an- 
chor deck. 

Well deeli.— 
That part of 
the main deck 
which consti- 
tutes the well. 

Working deck. 
— A spar deck. 

The different 
types of vessels 
classed in 
Lloyd's register 
are decked as 

1. Flush deck, 
that is having 
nothing raised 
above the deck 
beyond the head 
of the engine 
and boiler cas- 
ings. 2. Vessel 
having monkey 
forecastle, bridge 



rffill«IMM°IH*-' w"-L- - ' 





house and hood for the protection of steering gear. 3. Vessel having 
top-gallant- forecastle, bridge house, and poop. 4. Vessel having 
top-gallant-forecastle, bridge house, and short raised quarter-deck. 
■5. Well-decked vessel, having top-gallant-forecastle, with a long 

P 2 


poop and bridge-house combined. 6. Also known as well decked 
vessel, having top-gallant-forecastle, with a long raised quarter- 
deck and bridge-house combined. 7. Shade decked vessel, having 
continuous upper deck of bight construction with openings in the 
sides. 8. Awning decked vessel, with continuous upper deck of 
light construction, and the sides completely enclosed above the 
main deck. 9. Spar-decked vessel, with the scantlings above the 
main deck heavier than that in the awning decked vessel, but not 
so heavy as in a " three decked vessel." 

Deep. — A gulf or channel in the sea, as the " Barrow Deep " in 
the estuary of the Thames. 

Deep (on the hand line). — One of the dividing marks, so that the 
depth of water sounded may be seen at a glance or felt in the dark. 
(See Lead.) 

Depth. — Depth measure. — In ships this is taken inside, from the 
underside of the beams to the kelson ; in open boats it is taken 
outside, from the top of the gunwale to the underside of the true 

Depth of a flag. — The perpendicular height, the length being 
called the fly. 

Depth of a sail. — The longest cloth (or strip of canvas.) 

Derelict. — Forsaken. The term applies to ships from which 
the crews have been withdrawn and in which no domestic animal is 
left. Sometimes also it means the ebb-dry foreshore. 

Derrick. — Generally speaking, a crane consisting mainly of one 
large beam, the foot of which rests either upon the ground or at the 
lower portion of a mast. (See also Floating Derrick.) 

Deviation of the compass. — " The variation of a ship's com- 
Dass from the true magnetic meridian, caused by the near presence 
of iron." (See Compass.) 

Devil. — A word with various meanings. 

Devil bolts. — A name given to bolts with false clenches, or to- 
those which may be otherwise faulty, in the building of a vessel by 

Devil's claw. — A strong split hook grasping the link of a chain r 
and sometimes used on cranes for gripping a weight. 

Devilfish. — The fearful octopus " Lophius Piscatorius. " (See- 
Victor Hugo's " Travailleurs de la Mer. ") 

Devil seam. — That seam in a vessel which is about on the water 

Devil's smiles. — Gleams of sunshine in stormy weather, which 
come, alas, only to deceive. 

Devil's table cloth. — A name for the fleecy white clouds often seen 
in windy weather. 

The devil to pay. — An expression implying an \m pleasant 
situation, or that something will have to be paid without the 
wherewithal to do so. The full term (as employed by the- 
ancients) is more self-explanatory, The devil to pay and no tar hot. 


Dhow. — A long flat Arab vessel or canoe. 

Diagonal build. — A method of boat building in which tho 
planks run diagonally across the heads. (See BUILD.) 

Dinghy. — A small open boat, usually attached to a yacht, and 
useful for all general purposes. Of late years, tome dinghies, of 
more than ordinary size, have been fitted 
with engines. A dinghy, though of 
course a necessity to a yacht, is often 
somewhat of a burthen on a cruise, in 
consequence of which several inven- 
tions have from time to time been 
brought in for rendering it collapsable. 
None of these, however, have become 
very popular. The dinghy is by some Dinghy. 

people called the "punt." 

Dip. — To dip is to lower and then raise again. Thus to dip a flag 
is a salute, and it may be dipped a varied number of times accord- 
ing to the personage saluted. (See Salute.) 

Dipping lug. — A lug sail which must be lowered and set again 
every time a boat carrying it changes her tack. (See Lua.) 

Displacement. — The weight of water displaced by any vessel. 
The word was, at one time, made use of in defining the carrying 
power of ships. As applied to yachts it has but little meaning : 
these are now " rated " by measurement and sail area. (See Rating.) 

Distress. — In want of assistance. In small craft a signal of 
distress is made by hoisting a ball, or anything like a ball, in place 
of a flag, or by flying the ensign upside down. At night signal must 
be made by rockets or fires. (See SIGNALS.) 

Dock. — An artificially constructed basin for the reception of 
vessels. It may be either a wet dock, in which ships are unloaded, 
or a dry dock, in which they are either built or repaired. 

Dockyard. — An enclosed area in which the work connected 
with the building or fitting out of ships is carried on. 

Dog. — Dog-stupper. — A stopper on a cable to enable it to be bitted. 

Dog-watch. — The short watches, or spaces of time, into which 
the 24 hours of the day are divided on sailing ships. They are only 
of two hours' duration each, the ordinary watches being of four 
hours', and their use is to shift the watches each night, so that the 
same watch (gang of men) need not be on deck at the same hours. 
They are from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 6 to 8 a.m. (See WATCHES.) 

Dogger (old term). — "A Dutcli fishing-vessel navigated in the 
German Ocean ; it is equipped with two masts, a main mast and a 
mizzen mast, and somewhat resembles a ketch. It is principally 
used for fishing on the Dogger Bank." (Falconer's Dictionary.) 
This vessel in the Dutch and Scandinavian languages was known 
as a pink. 

Dogger-men. — Men engaged in the Dogger Bank fisheries. 



Doggett's coat and badge. — A celebrated race for Thames- 
watermen's apprentices. Its origin is thus given in Faulkner's 
" History of Chelsea." " Mr. Thomas Doggett, a native of Ireland, 
was an actor on the stage and made his first appearance at Dublin ; 
but his efforts not meeting with sufficient encouragement, he 
removed to London, where he performed with great reputation, and 
by his talents, industry, and economy, acquired a competent fortune 
and quitted the stage some years before he died. In his political 
principles, he was, in the words of Sir Richard Steele, ' A Whig up 
to head and ears ' ; and lie took every occasion of demonstrating his 
loyalty to the house of Hanover. One instance, among others, is- 
well known ; Avhich is, that in the year after King George the First 
came to the throne, in 1715, Doggett gave a waterman's orange- 
coloured coat and silver badge to be rowed for ; on the latter is re- 
presented the Hanoverian horse; but the newspapers of the day will 
nave it to represent the wild unbridled horse of liberty. This 
contest takes place on the first day of August, being the anniversary 
of that King's accession to the throne, between six young watermen, 
who have just completed their apprenticeship ; the claimants start- 
ing off on a signal being given at the time of the tide when the 
current is strongest against them, 
and rowing from the Old Swan, 
near London Bridge, to the 
White Swan at Chelsea." 

Dolphin. — The name some- 
times given to those posts, more 
usually called bollards, on a 
quay or pier to which hawsers or 
springs may be fastened. 

Dolphin stri/cer. — A small spar 
rigged at right angles beneath 
the bow-sprit in large vessels for the extra staying of the bowsprit 
and jib boom. 

Donkey. — Donkey engine. — 
Often called the " donkey," a 
small engine on ship-board (or 
ashore) to do light work such 
as hauling in the cable, working 
the derrick, etc. 

Donkey topsail. — The jack- 
topsail (which see) is sometimes 
thus called. 

Double. — In ship - building, 
doubling is, generally, a method 
of restoring old clincher - built 
hulls. It consists in covering each - I)o ^£i 
stroke (line of planking) with a 
new planking cut so as to be flush Doubling. 





•with the lands (overlapping edges). Thus a doubled boat may 
appear to be carvil built, while she is really no such thing. Doubling 
certainly renders old boats fit for further service, but it is often 
practised for the sake of deceiving buyers, and must, therefore, 
be looked upon with caution. People who invest in old boats should 
survey them very carefully beforehand, and if they are found to be 
doubled, the reason should be known. 

Doubling a cape, in sailing, is going round a cape or headland. 
Double, sculling (in rowing). — The propulsion of a boat by two 
persons, each using sculls. It is much practised on the Upper 
Thames ; and (for pleasure purposes) mostly with a coxswain. In 
racing, however, a rudder is often dispensed with, and the steering 
performed by the bow sculler. 

Double banked (also in rowing). — A system at one time in vogue 
for ships' long-boats of placing two rowers on each thwart, or bank 
(French banc — bench). (See BANK.) 

Double topsails. — In 
square rigged ships — a 
pair of topsails, the 
result of dividing one 
big topsail into two 
smallones, called respec- 
tively the topsail and 
the lower or middle 
topsail. This method 
was introduced to 
meet the difficulties 
of working so large 
a sail as the old 
style of topsail, and 
was found to answer 
so satisfactorily that 
it has since been em- 
ployed in all modern 
ships. These half sails 
are, naturally, short 
in the drop, and spread 
a wide clew. They are 
deeply roached and present a very smart appearance. 
Down. — To " down " a sail, mast, etc., is to lower it. 
Doivns, or dunes (from the ancient dunes). — Banks of sand thrown 
up by the sea and carried forward by the wind. 

The Downs. — A famous shipping road along the eastern coast of 
Kent from Dover to the North Foreland, and where excellent 
anchorage is to be obtained and shelter during westerly gales. It 
is here that the British Fleet used to meet. 

Downhaul. — A rope by which a sail or spar is hauled down or in. 
Thus the jib downhaul hauls the jib in, along the l>owsprit, wliile 
the peak downhaul brings the peak down. The downhauls in small 

Double Topsails. 


craft are very often, in fact most often, only halyards or sheets 
turned to the use. Such are the throat, peak, jib, and topsail 
downhauls ; the throat-downhaul being merely the tack tricing line 
made fast for the time to the boom stays or elsewhere ; the peak 
lines or flag halyard doing service as the peak downhatil ; the jib 
outhaul as the jib downhaul ; and the topsail downhaul, which is 
more truly a downhaul than any, serving also as a tack line. A large 
foresail (or in a square rigged vessel, a staysail) is sometimes 
furnished with a downhaul which leads from the tack of the sail 
to its head, and thence to the deck. The sail can thus be hauled 
down and into the vessel. 

Down-helm. — To put the helm to leeward. (See Helm.) 

Sailing down the wind is "running." 

Dowse. — To lower or slacken suddenly; expressed of a sail or 

Drabler (only of old ships). — "An additional part of a sail, 
sometimes laced to the bottom of the bonnet on a square sail. " It 
appears that the square sails in small craft were at one period 
increased in size by the addition of a lower strip of canvas called the 
bonnet (lohich see), and to this again was added another strip called 
the drabler. These strips were sometimes buttoned and sometimes 
laced to the sail, the latter through small loops sewed to the bonnet 
or drabler and called laskets. The drabler is now extinct, though 
the bonnet remains in certain fore-and-aft rigged vessels. (See 
Norfolk Wherry.) 

Drag. — To drag is to draw a frame of iron or wood, sometimes 
furnished with a net, and called the drag or dredge, along the bottom of 
any water, either for something lost or for taking fish. (See Dredge. ) 

To drag for an anchor is to draw the bight of a chain or rope along 
the bottom, each end being in a boat. 

An anchor is said to drag, or come home, when it loses its hold. 

Draught. — The draught of a vessel, or, in other words, the 
depth of water she draws, is the vertical depth of the immersed 
part of her ; that is, the distance of the lowest point of her keel 
(or any other specified point) from the surface of the water. 

Draw. — Drawing. — The state of a sail when inflated and the lee 
sheets taut, and therefore carrying the vessel on her course. 

Let draw. — To draw over the sheets of foresail or jib when coming 

To draw upon any object or moving vessel is to gain upon it. 

A draw. — A short rope for drawing down part of a sail, as the 
tack of a lug sail. 

Dredge (often pronounced ' ' drudge "). — A dredge or dredger is a 
machine for clearing or deepening rivers, canals, etc. There are 
also dredges, sometimes called drags, drawn along the bottom by 
boats for the purpose either of disturbing the mud or of fetching up 
any object, such as oyster dredges. 

Dredgerman (drudgerman). — One who works a dredge. 


Dress (a ship). — To deck her out with colours (flags). 
Drift. — To drift is to be carried with a stream or current, and 
with a vessel it implies that she is not under control. 

Drive. — To drive or to be driven is (of a ship) to drift ; it is 
thus described by Falconer: — "To carry at random along the 
surface of the water as impelled by a storm or impetuous current. 
Driving is generally expressed of a ship, when accidentally broke 
loose from her anchors or moorings. " 

Driver, or spanker. — The fore-and-aft or gaff sail on the 
mizzen mast of a ship or bark. 

Drop. — To drop. This term is often used with reference to 
moving a vessel a short distance, or to letting her drift with the tide. 
Thus she may drop up or drop down, according to the direction in 
which she is carried. 

Drop anchor. — To let go the anchor. 

Drop astern. — To go, to remain, or to be left astern of a vessel. 

Drop keel. — Another name for the centre-board (which see). 

Drop pawl. — A pawl which drops upon each tooth of a rack wheel. 
(See Pawl.) 

The drop of a sail. — The depth of a sail, expressed more generally 
of a square sail, as " the main-sail drops 30ft." 

Drowned. — The leading principles upon which the directions 
for the restoration of the apparently dead from drowning are 
founded are those of the late Dr. Marshall Hall, combined with those 
of Dr. H. It. Silvester, and supplemented by rules suggested by Dr. 
George S. Wells. These principles are the result of extensive inquiries 
which were made by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 
1863-4 amongst medical men, medical bodies, and coroners throughout 
the United Kingdom. The rules are in Her Majesty's Fleet ; in the 
Coastguard Service, at all stations of the British Army at home and 
abroad ; in the light-houses and vessels of the Corporation of the 
Trinity House ; the Metropolitan and Provincial Police Forces, the 
Metropolitan School Board Schools, and the St. John Ambulance 
Association. Those out of touch with any of these institutions 
will also find them in Lloyd's Almanac. Every person indulging 
in boating should become familiar with them. 

Dnb (in shipbuilding). — To work with the adze on a spar and 
the like. 

Duck. — 1. To dive, dip, or lower. 

2. Duck. — Fine canvas used for the sails of light Iwats, and also 
for the trousers of seamen. 

Ducking at the yard arm. — An old punishment (now extinct), 
consisting of swinging a man up to the yard arm and then dropping 
him into the water. 

Dunnage (at sea). — " The name applied to loose wood or 
rubbish placed at the bottom of the hold to raise the cargo either for 
purposes of ballast, or to keep it dry. " 


Dutchman. — A name given to 
any Dutch craft, of which there are 
many classes ; but the one or two- 
masted vessels, Avith overhanging 
bows and very curved sheers, 
common on the east coast, are 
often classed as Dutchmen. 

Dyke. — A large ditch or fissure 
in marsh or low lying lands such 
as saltings. In the east of England 
the word is pronounced " deek." 


Eagre, or eagor (also acker). — 
An eddying (or eager) ripple on the 
surface of flooded waters. A tide 
swelling over another tide, as in the - -.? 

Severn. (See Bore.) — (Smyth.) Dutchman. 

Earings, or reef earings. — 
Small ropes attached to cringles (loops or eyes) in the bolt ropes at 
the head of sails. The following has reference to square rig : — 

Earings. — " Small ropes fastened to cringles (loops) in the upper 
corners, and also to the leeches of sails, for the purpose of fixing the 
leeches of the sail to the yard. The first or head earings fix the 
corners of the sail permanently, the second being used only in 
reefing." (Brande and Cox.) There is a difference between earings 
and reef earings, as follows : — The former are spliced to the cringle ; 
the latter are rove through a cringle having an eye spliced in 
it, so that it may the more easily be renewed. (Falconer.) 

Ease. — Ease away. — In sailing, to slacken away gradually ; as of 
a rope. ' 

Ease the ship. — To put the helm hard a'lee when she is expected 
to plunge. This may well be done in small craft, and is also done 
in large vessels, notwithstanding much opposition to the practice 
on the part of writers on the art of sailing, who hold it to be 
impossible to influence the motion of the vessel in so short a time as 
would be necessary to put her into a coming wave. 

Easy (in rowing). — An order to cease rowing, and lie on the 
oars, that is to drop them just above the water, blades flat. The 
order is often given, — " Easy all!" 

Easting. — Distance eastward ; just as northing is distance north- 

Ebb.— The reflux of the tide. 

Ebb dry. — That portion of a solid or hard foreshore which is daily 
covered at high tide and left dry at low. 

Eddy. — A circular motion in water, caused either by its meeting 
with some obstacle and circling round it, or by the meeting of 
opposite currents. Eddies are frequent round the piers of bridges 



End On. 


when the tide runs swiftly, and may often be dangerous to small 
boats. This is particularly the case under the bridges of the 
Thames. In such cases, therefore, it is wise to be 
cool and careful, and to keep strict attention to 
the boat's course, that she be not swung round. 

Eight-oar. — A boat rowed by eight oars. On 
the Upper Thames it is usually understood to 
mean a racing outrigger. 

Elbows (in shipbuilding).— (See Knees.) 

End (of a rope). — The end of a rope is spoken 
of in contradistinction to the bight, which is that 
part between the ends ; but a bight is also more 
generally looked upon as a bent part of the rope 
(see Bight). The standing end, otherwise called 
the standing part of a rope, is that end which is 
fixed or made fast, the part hauled upon being 
called the running end or part. 

End on. — The situation of a vessel when point- 
ing directly at any object ; thus if, at night, we 
see both the red and green lights of a ship we 
know her to be end on. This term is employed in the 
tions for Prevention of Collisions at Sea." 

End ring. — 1. Of a chain, a round ring gener- 
ally terminating the chain. (See figure under 
CHAIN.) 2. A ring or cap fitted over the end 
of a spar. It prevents the spar from splitting, and 
is generally made with eyes or hooks round it 
to carry small blocks. It is found on gaffs, 
bowsprits, etc., that on the bowsprit being 
generally called the cratise-irun. (See figure 
under Bowsprit. ) 

Ensign (usually pronounced "ens'n"). — The 
flag carried by a ship as the insignia of her 
nationality. The ensign of Great Britain con- 
sists of a red, white or blue field (or ground), 
with the device of the Union (see Union Jack) 
in the first canton (i.e., the upper quarter 
nearest the mast). The wlute ensign displays 
the cross of Saint George, i.e., a red cross on 
a white field, with the Union in the first 
quarter ; the red and blue ensigns are without a | 
cross, but often, though the Union in them, 
occupies only the same area as though the 
cross still remained. Ships of war ny the 
ensign of St. George, i.e., the white ensign 
the Naval Reserve the blue ; and the Mercantile 
Navy the red. Until recent years all three were 8J - UE ■>" 

used in the Royal Navy, there being an Admiral Ensigns. 



of the White, of the Blue, and of the Red. The distinctions have, 
however, been discontinued : by a rule of 1864 all men-of-war carry 
the St. George's ensign. Certain yacht clubs have also the privilege 
of flying particular ensigns, as in tbe case of the Royal Yacht 
Squadron, which flies the white. The ensign is hoisted in a steam 
vessel, or large ship, on a pole over the taffrail ; on a schooner, brig, 
etc. , at the peak of the main gaff ; on a cutter or sloop, at the peak ; 
on a yawl, at the mizzen peak, unless the mizzen be a lug-sail, when 
it is sent up at the main peak ; and 
on a row boat over the stern. In 
port it flies between 8 a.m. and 
sunset ; at sea only when meeting 
strangers. Turned upside down it 
is a signal of distress. Displayed 
under any than ordinaiy circum- 
stances it becomes a signal. (For 
further reference to its use by 
yacht clubs see BURGEE.) 

Entrance. — That part of the hull of a vessel (aft of the cut- 
water) which throws off tbe water as she moves. (See fig.) 

Equinox. — (Lat., sequus, equal, and nox, night.) " In astronomy, 
the time at which the sun passes through the equator in one of the 
equinoctial points. When the sun is in the equator, the days and 
nights are of equal length all over the world, whence the derivation 
of the term. This happens twice every year, namely, about the 
21st of March and the 22nd of September ; the former is called the 
vernal and the latter the autumnal equinox." (Brande and Cox.) 
The atmosphere is often much disturbed at these times, and hence 
at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of autumn we 
have what are palled the " equinoctial gales." 

Escutcheon. — The plate upon which a ship's name is written 
is sometimes thus called. 

Europe (rope). — A dark brown tarred rope, now almost super- 
seded by maaiilla. Bits of old Europe used to be sent to prisons 
with which to make oakum. 

Even keel. — A boat is said to be on an even keel when she lies 
evenly in a fore-and-aft direction (i.e., in the direction of the keel). 
(See diagram under Keel.) She is also sometimes erroneously so 
described, especially with rowers, when she is upright in the water, 
canting neither to right nor to left. 

Every. — Every in'h of that. — An exclamation. To belay a rope 
without letting an inch go. 

Every rope an end. — Every rope running freely. 

Every stitch of canvas. — All sail set and no possibility of adding 

Eye.— Generally speaking a small hole or loop, as : — 

Eye of a block strop. — That cringle or hole in any rope or sail 
from which a block is suspended. 




'i-rzzf, j~eV&s r 

exes fo« lacimgs 



2fye 0/ an anchor. — The hole in the head of the shank in which 
is the ring. 

Eye bolts, screw eyes, bolt eyes. — Screws or bolts, the heads 
of which form rings. When they are employed for guiding the 
sheets of sails they are sometimes called fair leads [see FAIR.) 

Eye splice. — An eye made in the end of 
a rope, either wire or hempen, by turning . ;' .' . • .'-»' 

over the end and splicing it into itself. (See 

Eyelet hole. — An eye in a sail, either 
to take rope or lacing. It is usually 
strengthened with a small metal ring. 

Flemish eye. — An eye at the end of a rope, 
not spliced, but bound with yam (see fig. ). 

Eyes (on a sail). — Rings sewn into the 
luff and leech of a sail to take the ties or 
lashings when reefing. Also holes in the 
sail to admit of short ropes (reef points) 
being passed through them. 

In the eye of the wind. — A vessel is said to sail " in the eye of the 
wind " when she keeps her course at a very acute angle with the 
wind, or, in other words, when she sails very close to the wind. 

In the eyes of her. — The most forward part of a vessel. 

Eyot (pronounced "eight"). — Any small island in the Upper 
Thames, as " Chiswick Eyot," one of the points often mentioned in 
the records of rowing or sculling matches over the championship course. 


Fag. — Fag end of a rope ; the end which is apt to become un- 
twisted, or fagged out, and is therefore whipped, or bound, with yarn 
to prevent this. 

Pair. — Fair weather. — In the north the simple word " fair " 
often means this. 

Fair wind. — A wind which takes a 
ship on her course without the necessity 
of tacking. 

Fair way. — A navigable tract or 
channel of water, either at sea, in a 
harbour, or up a river. 

Fairlead (on the deck of a vessel). — 
Any ring, bolt, eye, or loop which 
guides a rope in the direction re- 
quired (see ng.). It is often called a 
" chuck." 

Fair curves (in shipbuilding). — " The 
lines of a boat taken indiscriminately tjj 

either vertically, horizontally, trans- v 

versely, or sectionally, should all Fairleads. 



Fig. 1. 

result in regular even curves without any severe or sharp angular 
bends. The curves fulfilling this test are termed fair curves. In 
a boat properly designed the curves in all directions should be fair." 
(Winn, " Boating Man's Vade Mecum.") 

Fake. — A slang term used under almost any 
circumstances and signifying almost anything. 
Thus to fake sometimes means to make a thing 
look right when it is not so, or to get a job over, 
no matter how. The word fakement (used by landsmen 
more than by seamen) is occasionally employed when 
the speaker is at a loss for the name of anything. 

A fake of a rope. — One of the circles of a coiled rope. 

Fall. — Roughly speaking, a rope to be hauled 
upon (fig. 1). Thus the fall of a tackle is the rope 
upon which men pull, as the bobstay fall, the rope 
which taughtens the bobstay ; the cat fall, the rope 
hauled upon when the cat-block is secured to the 
anchor in bringing it into the ship, etc. 

Fall aboard. — To run foul of another vessel. 

Fall astern. — To drop astern of (i.e., behind) 
another vessel. 

Fall calm. — To become calm ; a sudden drop 
of the wind. 

Fall down to. — To drift on an ebbing tide 
from some place or mooring to another. 

Fall home, tumble home, and tumbling in, are 
terms used in shipbuilding to describe the 
inward curve, from the bilge upward, peculiar 
to certain vessels. In the old battle ships this 
was particularly noticeable. The continuation 
of this curve below the water-bine and towards 
the keel is sometimes called the^?a»-e (fig. 2), 
which name is also applied to the outward 
curve of the bows. (See Fl ARE. ) 

Fall off (from the wind). — In sailing, a boat is said to fall off when 
her tendency is to run away from the wind, and therefore to make 
considerable leeway. Occasionally a boat may be in the habit of 
doing this when put up into the wind, in consequence of her not 
having sufficient gripe of the water forward. It is a bad and dangerous 
fault. In centre-board boats it may sometimes be counteracted, 
at great trouble, by shifting the board forward. (See Lee Helm.) 

Fall not off. — A command to the steersman to keep the vessel's 
head close to the wind. 

False keel. — An addition to the main keel. It not only acts 
as a protection to the main keel, but enables the vessel to take a 
better hold of the water. (See Frame.) 

Fan. — 1. (Of a paddle wheel in steam boats.) — One of the flat plates 
or boards which flap the water. 2. (Of a canoe paddle.) — The blade. 


Fig. 2. 


The disc or blade sometimes seen on fancy boat-hooks is also called 
the fan. 

Fanal. — A lighthouse. (French.) 

Fancy line. — A bine running through a block beneath the jaws 
of a gaff and used as a down haul. When it is attached to the tack 
of the sail so as to be able to trice that up it becomes a tricing line. 

Fang. — Fangs are the valves of pump boxes. Hence, to pour 
water into the pumps of a vessel to enable them to start working, or 
to fetch, is to fang the pumps. 

Fantod. — One of many opprobrious names given by seamen to an 
officer who is somewhat fidgety. 

Fardage. — Dunnage (when a ship is laden in bulk). 

Fashion nieces (in shipbuilding). — The aftermost timbers 
of a vessel which form or " fashion " the shape of her stem. 

Fast. — To make fast. — -To fasten— spoken of a rope when lashing 
anything with it, but not when belaying. 

Fathom. — A measure of depth— 6ft. Depths of water are 
always spoken of in fathoms or portions of a fathom ; the lead line 
is marked in them ; and the soundings on charts, unless otherwise 
stated, are given in the same. But the depth drawn by any vessel 
is always calculated in feet. Thus a vessel drawing 18ft. will 
ground in less than three fathoms. 

Fay. — To join two pieces of timber by thinning down the ends 
aud fitting them to each other. 

Feather (in rowing). — The act of turning the oar as it leaves 
the water at the finish of a stroke, so that, in the recovery of the 
stroke, the blade passes over the surface of the Mater horizontally, 
thereby presenting the least resistance to the wind as well as to the 
water should the blade accidentally touch it. No one should learn 
to row without feathering ; in fact, it should come naturally, as the 
arms are thrust forward ; and as the recovery finishes the oars should 
be in position to take the stroke. Feathering at sea in this manner 
is impossible, for the waves might catch the oar at eveiy stroke ; 
but here the act has a different intent, the blade of the oar being 
kept pretty much at the same angle throughout both stroke and 
recovery ; not at right angles to the water, but at an angle of some- 
thing like 45 degrees. This constitutes the great difference 
between sea and river rowing ; a difference so great that many well- 
trained river boatmen require some little practice before they are 
able to pick up the knack of the sea style. In smooth waters the 
blade of the oar is put in at right angles to the surface, and a steady 
even pull is taken with it until the stroke is complete, when, as it 
comes out, it is quickly turned flat. At sea, on the contrary, the 
oar goes into the water at an obtuse angle, which, directly pressure 
is put on it, causes it to dip itself somewhat deep ; the rower then 
puts his weight upon it and pulls down (not along), thus lifting 
the oar instead of actually pulling it. This, indeed, is the only 
way in which the long, heavy oars used by fishermen can be handled. 



Feather edge. — A sharp edge of a plank sawn 
diagonally across its section. Planks thus sawn are 
said to be feather edged. In doubling a clincher-built 
boat the planks of the outer covering or doubling will 
have to be feathered. (See Doubling.) 

Feel (the helm). — When the helm of a vessel re- 
quires something of a pull to bring her up into the 
wind the steersman may say that he feels the helm. 

Fend, fenders. — To fend off is to push off any 
heavy body from another so as to avoid contact. 
So a fender or fend off is a cushion, usually of rope or yam, in- 
serted between two boats or between a boat and any other object 
for the purpose of fending it off from the other. 
Fenders are of various forms. The pudding 
fender is made of old rope worked up into a 
large round pad, not altogether unlike a pud- 
ding of handsome dimensions : it is always to 
be seen on large vessels, steam-boats, etc. The 
plain fender rope is made of one or more short 
pieces of rope folded so that the ends meet and 
are served or bound together with yam. Some 
fenders are of sawdust, contained in a bag of 
painted canvas : these, however, are apt to 
swell and become hard, and are unsuitable, 
therefore, for anything but show purposes. 
Cork, on the other hand, or oakum covered in 
leather, are useful. India rubber, too, in the 
form of rings, is very good. For a boat which 
is subject to a good deal of knocking about, i'fmL 
such as a yacht's dinghy, no better form of 
fender can be employed than a thick rope run- 
ning all round the sax board, and this is now 

being adopted even in pleasure boats. In many Thames skiffs 
small fenders (often of sawdust, and painted white) appear to 
exist as much for orna- 
ment as for use ; being 
slung permanently round 
the rowlocks, to which, it 
must be admitted, they 
give a neat and finished 
appearance. Yachtsmen, 
however, have an objection to this, and never allow fenders to 
remain out board while under way. 

Ferry. — " In law, a right arising from royal grant or prescription 
to have a boat to carry men, etc. , across a river, and to levy reasonable 
toll. The land on both sides ought to belong to the owner." 

Ferry boats are of various kinds, from the mere open boat to the 
chain worked pontoons or steam passenger boats crossing wide rivers. 



Fender Rope Round Skiff. 




Fetch.— To attain. " We shall fetch to windward of the light- 
house, this tack." 

To fetch way. — To make way ; hut Falconer gives it as follows :— 
" To be shaken or agitated from side to side." 

The pumps fetch. — They begin to work. 

Pid. — A bolt of wood or iron which fixes the heel of a topmast or 
bowsprit. The fid of a mast rests, when the topmast is lifted, in 
the fid holes upon the trestle-trees, thereby 
preventing the topmast from coming down. / 

(See diagrams under Mast.) 

Splicing-fid. — A spike for opening the strands 
of a rope. 

Fiddle block. — A block with one sheave 
larger than another, and which, therefore, can 
take two sizes of rope ; from which circum- 
stance it is also often called a thick-and-thin 

Fiferail. — A plank or rail upon which a 
group of belaying-pins are fixed. They are 
often seen on the shrouds of large yachts, 
where they take some of the halyards ; and 
in ships, where all halyards belay by the 
shrouds, the fiferail may be fitted with 
powerful cleats. 

Figurehead. — The figure or other carving which used to, and 
occasionally still does, adorn the prow of wooden ships. Properly 
applied they should represent the subject of the ship's name. 

Figure-of-eight knot.— (-See Knots.) 

Fill. — To fill the sails is so to trim them that the wind may act 
upon them. 

Fillets. — Small projecting bands, of square section, on any 
spars or mouldings. 

Finishing. — The final work on and ornamenting of the hull of 
a ship. 

Fish. — The name of an apparatus for hauling in the flukes of an 
anchor in a ship. It consists of the fish davit, a timber or iron bracket 
projecting from the bows of the ship, and to this is attached the fish 
ta'hle, which consists of the fish block, the principal block of the tackle; 
and the purchase on which is obtained by hauling upon the fish fall 
— i.e., the rope leading from the fish-blocks. (See figs, under Davit.) 

Fish fronts. — Strengthening or stiffening planks bound over a 
broken spar to hold it together. 

Fisherman.— One who lives by fishing, whether on salt water 
or fresh. But one who loafs about the shore, or who lets out boats, 
is not a fisherman. 

Fisherman's bend. — A knot used in securing an anchor to a rope, 
and sometimes for bending sails to halyards. (See KNOTS.) 

Fisherman's walk. — An extremely confined space on the deck of 



a vessel, " three steps and overboard," or, in other words, no larger 
an area than the deck of a fishing boat. The term is sometimes used 
in derision of what yachtsmen call their " quarter deck." (Smyth.) 
Fitting out.—" Getting in the masts, putting the rigging over- 
head, stowing the hold, and so on." (Capt. Basil Hall.) 

Flag. — A flag has been defined as a banner indicating nationality, 
occupation, or intelligence. The flags of nationality are standards, 
ensigns, jades. Those of occupation are such as indicate the 
service or occupation of those who fly them, as war, trading, 
pilotage, yachting, etc. Those of intelligence are called signals, 
and are of various forms and colours. They are of three shapes, 
the square, the pointed, and the double-pointed or swallow tail. 
(See under Signals.) 

The standard is the flag of war, bearing the Royal Arms of the 
nation. (See Standard.) 

The ensign is the signal of nationality. (See Ensign.) 
The jack is used under a large variety of circumstances. (See 

A pennant, or pendant, is a long pointed flag generally used in 
conjunction with signals. (See PENDANT. ) 

A burgee is a small pointed or swallow tail flag mostly used by 
yacht clubs. (See Burgee.) 

A bandrol, or bannerole, is a small streamer. (The word is not 
much used in nautical language.) 

A wheft, or whiff, is also a streamer used either with signals or 
at a mast head. 

A house jlag is a square flag distinguishing a particular shipping 
company. (See House Flag. ) 

A member's jlag is a small flag belonging to a private member of a 
yacht club. (See Member's Flag and Burgee. ) 

A plain white flag signifies a clean bill of health : in war it is the 
flag of truce. A yellow flag is the mark of quarantine, and warns 
all passers to pass or moor to windward. A red flag alone signifies 
that the vessel or barge upon which it is displayed carries an explosive 
cargo. A black flag is the old flag of piracy. A flag hoisted upside 
down is a signal of distress. j L A?*" p ««ct.e 
Half mast high, it means €> 
mourning ; when dipped it 
is a mark of salutation or 
respect, the number of dips 
being according to the person 
or object saluted. 

The parts of a flag are the 
same as the parts of an es- 
cutcheon in heraldry. The 
perpendicular depth of a flag 
is called its hoist, height, or 
depth. Its length is called 

•/.* Canton 

Zr Canton. 

3 r « Canton 

J? t Canton. 

, f FL y- >j 



Flag lieutenant. — The immediate attendant upon an admiral, 
whose orders he communicates to all other ships in command. 

Flag officer. — An officer entitled to bear his own distinguishing 
flag at his mast head. Such are admirals and commodores. 

Flag ship.— That ship of a fleet which flies the admiral's flag. 

Flare, or flam (a flying out). — The peculiar outward and up- 
ward curve in the form of a vessel's bow. When it hangs over she 
is sometimes said to have a ' ' flaring bow. " (See Fall and Frame.) 

Flare up lights. — Lights used on the deck of a vessel as signals. 
They burn only a few seconds. (See Lights and Signals.) 

Flash. — Flashlight. — A species of revolving light from a light- 
house or ship. (See Lights.) 

Flash vessel. — A vessel all paint outside but without much order 

Flat. — Level ground under the sea and generally near the shore ; 
as the Kentish Flats, in the estuary of the Thames. Otherwise a 
shoal or shallow place. 

Flats (in shipbuilding). — The futtocks amidships. 

Flat-floors, also called bearers, because they bear the floor boards, 
are small beams across the lowest part of a vessel. They are made 
flat above, so as to bear the flooring, and hollow underneath (some- 
what in the form of arches) ; or if of solid pieces, are pierced under- 
neath with arched apertures, called limbers, these limbers, or 
passages through them, being necessary to allow any bilge water 
to run fore and aft. (See Limbers.) In open boats they are often 
dispensed with, their place being taken by the footicaling . (See 
diagram under Frame.) 

To flat in a sail. — To haul it in flat. 

"Flat as a board." — An expression used in admiration of a sail 
which sets very free of creases, as it is the pride of yachtsmen to see 

Flaw.— A sudden breeze or gust of wind. A sudden change in 
the direction of the wind. Fickle winds. 

Fleet.— A fleet is a number of vessels in company, be they war 
vessels or any others. Thus we may have a fishing fleet, such as the 
late Barking fleet and the Yarmouth fleet. The fleet is the name gener- 
ally given to the ships of the Koyal Navy or a detachment of it. 

Fleet water, a fleet. — Shallow tidal water ; a shallow place. 
Hence the names Benfleet, Northfleet, Purfleet, etc., and also 
Fleet Street. 

To fleet blocks. — To free or loosen the blocks of a tackle, when 
drawn close together. Falconer gives the following definition of the 
term : " To fleet is to change the situation of a tackle, when the 
blocks are drawn together, or what is called block and block by 
sailors ; also to change the position of the dead eyes, when the 
shrouds are becoming too long, which is done by shortening the 
shroud and turning in the dead eye again, lugher up. The use of 
fleeting is, accordingly, to replace the mechanical powers into a 

G 2 


state of action, the force by which they operated before being 
destroyed by the meeting of the blocks or deadeyes. Fleeting, 
therefore, is nearly similar to the winding up of a watch or clock." 

To fleet a cable, or haivser, is to allow it " to slip on the whelps 
(upright pieces) of the capstan or windlass, from the larger to a part 
of the smaller diameter." (" Dictionary of Mechanics.") 

Flemish. — Flemish coil. — To coil a rope in fanciful patterns, as 
in the figure of 8. A Fretich fake is a modification of this. 

Flemish eye. — An eye at the end of a rope not spliced but sewn with 
yarn. (See diagram under Eye.) 

Flemish horse (in square rig). — The outer portion of a horse, the 
horse being a rope hanging below a yard upon which a man may 
stand while reefing ; and the horse is hung upon short ropes called 

Foam.— The fallen or flying spray of the sea. 

Float. — Floating anchor. — A contrivance of spars, sails, or indeed 
of anything that will float, thrown overboard and belayed to the 
bow of a boat to lessen her drift to leeward when lying to in 
a gale. 

Floating bridge. — A form of ferry, hauled by chains across a 

Floating derrick. — A derrick built up on a hull, and employed 
in raising sunken vessels, piles, etc. 

Floating dock. — A huge iron 
vessel, having a double case with 
large intervening space between, 
into which ships can be floated 
for repair. 

Floating harbour. — A break- 
water of spars, etc., fastened to- 
gether and moored, as a protection 
for a vessel lying at anchor ; its 

object being to keep off the FuuTING anchor or Harbour. 
violence of the sea. 

Floatsam.—(See Flotsam.) 

Flood. — Flood tide. — The flowing or rising tide. The tide is said 
to be at its flood when it is at its highest, and therefore slack. But 
the turn from ebb to flow is also the flood, and it is just before this 
flood that vessels which are waiting for the turn get under weigh ; 
thus we come to appreciate the meaning of the well-known lines 
" There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, 
leads on to fortune." 

Flood gate. — A tidal gate or sluice gate. 

Floor.— That portion of the inside of a vessel which is below 
the water line. 

Floor boards, foot boards, or bilge boards. — The loose planking 
lying over the floor timbers and flat floors ; they cover the ballast 
and keep the bilgewater out of sight. 


: Flat-floors or bearers. — Small beams supporting the floor- boards. 
(See Flat-floors. ) 

Floor j) Ian. — A longitudinal section of a vessel, showing her plan 
at the water line, or any other line parallel to it. 

Floor timbers. — The lower members, or "timbers," of a vessel's 
ribs (for the ribs of ships are composed of several pieces, called 
futtocks). The upper ends are called the floor heads. (These parts 
are illustrated in the diagrams under the heading Frame. ) 

Flotsam (usually pronounced floatsani). — A term in mercan- 
tile law, as also at sea, meaning goods cast into the sea and floating 
in the waves. There are three conditions in which goods cast from 
a ship in distress may remain. 1. Flotsam, or floating (as above) ; 
2. Jetsam, cast and sunk ; 3. Lagan or Ligsam, sunk and 
fastened to a buoy. (See under each heading.) Such goods, if no 
claim be laid to them within a certain time, become the property of 
the Crown. (See Wreckage. ) The term flotsam is also applied by 
fishermen to the floating spawn of certain fishes, or shellfish, as the 
spat of the oyster in its swimming state. 

Flow. — Flowing tide. — The tide rising. When the ebb ceases, 
the tide is said to flow : thus, " The tide flows at 5 o'clock " will 
mean " the tide will cease running down and begin to run up at 
5 o'clock." 

Flowing sheet. — The sheets loosened or "eased off," and the 
ship, therefore, running before the wind, or nearly so. 

Fluke. — The palm or hook of an anchor. (See Anchor.) 

Flush. — Smooth, or of an even surface — spoken often of the 
joints of planks when placed together. 

Flush-deck. — A deck running from stem to stern without the 
interruption of forecastle, booby hatch, or other cabin head. (See 
diagram under Deck.) 

Fly. — 1. Of a flag, its length, the perpendicular height being 
called the hoist, height, or depth. That part of a flag which flutters 
in the air, in contradistinction to that part near the mast, is also 
called the fly. — 2. The card upon which are marked the points of 
the compass. 

Flying block. — A large flat block used in hoisting tackle of yards. 

Flying jib. — A triangular sail set out beyond a jib or middle-jib. 
(See Jib.) 

Flying jib-b>om. — An extension of the jib-boom: only seen on 
large vessels. (See under J IB). 

Flying kites." — This popular expression has its origin at sea. 
The smallest and highest sails are made of the lightest material, 
for which reason they are called kites. Such are the smaller 
studding sails and sky sails (sometimes spoken of as sky-scrapers). 
When set they constitute the last stitch of canvas a ship can 
carry, and she is then said to be "flying her kites." Hence, 
when a person makes much show with little substance he may 
be said to be " flying kites " ; and, in commerce, one who 


makes much exposition of paper money without the wherewithal to 
meet it, is worthy to be placed in the same categoiy. 

Flyiiig start. — A start for a sailing match by boats which are 
already under weigh, but which are required to be behind an 
imaginary line when the signal to start is given. 

Fly-to. — To luff up suddenly — i.e., to run head to wind suddenly. 

Set flying. (See under that head.) 

Fog. — Fog alarm. — " An audible signal warning vessels from 
shoals or other dangerous places." ("Dictionary of Mechanics.") 
They are of various forms, such as bell-buoys, trumpet-buoys, etc. 

Fog -bell. — A bell struck at intervals by a vessel lying at anchor 
in a fog. When a steamboat is in motion she sounds her fog- 
horn— & large whistle blown by steam. (For the method of signal- 
ling with these instruments, see under SIGNALS.) 

Folding-boat. — A boat, the frame of which is collapsable and 
capable of stowage in a small space. Various designs have been 
patented, but in very few instances has the folding or collapsable boat 
become popular. 

Foot. — Generally speaking the lowest part of any object. 1. Of 
a spar, the lowest end ; 2. Of a sail, the lower edge. The lower 
weather corner of the foot (i.e., the end nearest the mast on a gaff 
sail, or nearest the foremost point on a head sail) is called the tack, 
the other corner being the clew. 

Foot-boards. — The same as floor-boards (ivhich see). 

Foot-rope. — The bolt rope along the foot of a sail. 

Footwalings. — Narrow planks or battens laid along the timbers 
(ribs) in the lowest part of a boat. They answer to the burdens in 
large vessels and protect the skin from the weight of the ballast. 
In open boats the footwaling often takes the place of the flat-floors. 

Fore-foot. — The fore end of a ship's keel, upon which the stem- 
post is stepped. 

Fore. — Forepart (of a vessel). — Forward. 

Fore-and-aft. — A term much used throughout this work, for it 
describes one of the only two manners in which sails can be applied 
to a vessel. The meaning of the term ' ' fore-and-aft " is, in the 
direction of a line drawn from stem to stern of a vessel ; that is, from 
the forward or fore to the after or aft part ; and such sails, yards, 
and spars as are set in this direction constitute that which, among 
sea-faring men, is known as fore-and-aft rig. Such sails as yachts 
and sailing boats cany are fore-and-aft sails; and such as are set 
in a direction across the ship are called square sails, constituting the 
square rig of most merchantmen. (See RlG.) 

Forecastle (pronounced fokesH). — Properly speaking, the for- 
ward deck, which is often raised above the main deck ; hence its 
name. The space beneath it is the cabin of the crew ; and this is 
popularly called the forecastle. Monkey forecastle is another name 
for a smaller forecastle or anchor deck. (See diagram under Deck.) 

Forecourse. — In square rig, the lowest sail on the fore-mast. 
It is sometimes called the fore-sail. (See COURSES.) 


In shipbuilding and seamanship the following, among other terms, 
are used : — 

Fore-foot. — The fore end of a ship's keel, on which the stem-post 
is stepped. 

Fore-halyard, or foresail halyard. — The rope or halyard which 
elevates the foresail. In fore-and-aft rig it has its origin at a 
point near the mast head, from which it runs downwards towards 
the stem-head of the boat, and passing through a movable block, 
returns through a rixed block on the mast, to the deck, where it 
belays, in small craft, usually on the starboard side of the mast. 
When the foresail is to be set, its head is attached to the lower 
block, which is furnished with a hook or clip-hooks, and the halyard 
is hauled up taut. When it is to be taken in, this lower block is 
brought down to the stem-head, where it is hooked, and the hal- 
yards are then taughtened just enough to prevent the pendants, or 
out-hanging portion, from swinging about. 

Fore-hooks. — Strengthening timbers in the bow of a vessel, bind- 
ing the other timbers together. (See BREAST-HOOK. ) 

Foreland. — A high piece of land jutting out into the sea, as the 
North and South Forelands. 

Fore-lock. — A sort of linch-pin or split- pin through the end of 
a bolt to prevent it from getting out of position. Also the braces 
of the rudder (which see). 

Fore-lock hook. — In rope-making, a winch on a block by which 
yarns are twisted into strands. 

Foremast. — Generally the mast nearest the bow of a vessel. 
In all tliree and four-masted ships the most forward is the foremast, 
as it is also in such two-masted ones as the schooner, brigantine, 
etc. But there are several rigs peculiar to smaller craft (such as 
the ketch, yaiol, etc.), in which the forward mast is vastly taller 
than the sternmost, and in such cases the forward one becomes 
the main mast, the after one being called the mizzen, while the 
foremast is absent. 

Fore-peak. —A space in the bows of a vessel fore of the fore- 
castle. The name is also sometimes applied to the forecastle itself, 
when raised above the deck of a sailing ship. 

Fore-rake. — So much of the forward inclination, or run, of the 
stem of a vessel as overhangs the keel. 

Fore-reach. — To overtake another vessel and reach ahead of her. 
Fore-runner. — Usually a piece of bunting attached to a log- 
line at a certain distance (measured in fathoms) from the lead. It 
takes the place of a knot. (See Log.) 

Foresail. — 1. In square rig usually the forecourse, though in 
vessels which carry no forecourse it is the fore stay sail, and even 
in ships, from the fact that the forecourse is not always set, the 
fore stay sail is often called the foresail. 2. In fore-and-aft rig : — 
In the schooner it is a gaff sail on the fore mast. In the cutter 
and yawl it is a triangular sail extending from the lower mast 


head to the stem head, running by means of hanks, or a lacing, on 
the forestay, and corresponding, therefore, with the forestay sail 
of square or schooner rig. In the sloop it is often absent, the 
fore stay being run out to the end of a fixed bowsprit, and carry- 
ing a large jib which extends aft almost to the mast. The value 
of a foresail lies in the fact that its effort is within the boat. This 
gives it a power which, sometimes, in a fresh breeze, will bury a 
boat's head, and in such a case it is as well to take it in, leaving the 
jib as the only head sail. But it is in consequence of this power 
that we are able to deduce the following : 

Rule for working jibs and foresail. — When a vessel is going about, 
the jib acts before the foresail, but its power is soon expended. 
It is, therefore, brought over first (as soon as its effort is seen to 
be finished) and sheeted home, Avhile the foresail (by laying aback) 
completes the work of bringing the vessel's head round. This is 
an operation requiring nice judgment and some little experience. 
The mistake of bringing the head sails over too soon is particularly 
to be avoided : it may almost be" said, indeed, that it is better to 
be too slow than too quick ; though much, of course, must depend 
upon the general behaviour of the craft.* 

Balloon, foresail. — A large foresail used in racing and extending 
aft, sometimes beyond the shrouds. (See Balloon Canvas.) 

Fore-sheets. — The ropes which work the foresail. In square 
rigged ships it is the aftermost of the ropes attached to the clews of 
the fore course, the weathermost being the tack. But the foresail, in 
fore-and-aft rigged vessels, being a head sail, running on afore stay, 
and therefore corresponding to the forestay sail in a ship, is worked 
by two sheets, or perhaps more correctly by a doubled sheet looped 
at the bight (or bend) to the clew of the sail, and each half of which 
is brought aft through fairleads on either side of the bows to be 
helayed either amidships, or, in small boats, within reach of the 
helmsman. In small craft the fore-sheets are usually distinguished 
from the jib sheets by being thinner, running inside of and being 
belayed forward of the jib sheets.* In fishing craft fore-sheets are 
sometimes dispensed with, their place being taken hy pendants on the 
leech of the sail ; the clew travelling on a horse, and the pen- 
dants being made fast to the shrouds. This constitutes what is 
called a "working foresail." A stopper knot should be made 
at the end of each fore-sheet when it is rove through its fairleads, 
to prevent them from being jerked away. A figure-of-eight knot 
answers this purpose well, and is easily made. (See KNOT.) 

Fore-shore. — That portion of a coast which lies beyond the 
boundary of the land territory. It is usually covered at high 
water. The foreshore in estuaries and rivers is often the property 
of the lords of the manors adjoining it, otherwise it belongs to the 

* As an invariable rule the jib sheet runs aft outside the fore-sheet ; this, 
indeed, is the outcome of necessity. It eould not well be brought inside Iwithout 
sooner or later entangling itself with the foresail and sheet ; but the fact must be 
particularly remembered by the beginner. 



Fore-stay. — The fore-stay is a rope, now almost always of wire, 
running from the lower masthead to the stem of a vessel or to the 
bowsprit end : its office being to prevent the mast from falling back- 
ward under the weight of the sails. It is usually eye-spliced and 
passed over the head of the mast and down to the shrouds. 
The following relates to full-rigged ships : — 

Fore-top-mast. — The first top-mast on the fore-mast. (See Mast.) 
Fore-top-sail and yard. — The sail set on the fore-top-mast and sus- 
pended on the fore-top-sail-yard. 

Fore-top-mast-stay. — A rope, or stay, running from the fore-top. 
mast head down to the bowsprit end, and supporting the mast from 
being drawn backward. 

Fore-top-mast-stay -sail. — /] 

A jib-shaped sail set on the 
fore - top - mast -stay. It is 
often called the middle-jib. 

Fore-top-gallant-mast (pro- 
nounced "forty gam must "). 
— The second top-mast on the 
fore-mast. (See Mast. ) 

Fore - top -gallant - sail and 
yard. — Tlie sail set on the 
fore -top -gallant -mast, and 
suspended on the fore- top- 

Fore- top -gallant-stay. — A 
stay running down from the 
fore-top -gall ant -mast head 
to the jib - boom - end, and 
supporting the mast from 
being drawn backward. 

Fore-top -gallant-stay-sail. 
— The sail set on the fore- 
top - gallant - stay, but it Is 
usually called & flying jib. 

Foi'e • royal - mast. — The 
third and usually the liighest 
top-mast on the fore-mast. 
(See Mast.) 

Fore-royal -sail and yard. 
— The sail set on the fore- 
royal-mast, and suspended on the fore-royal-yard, which yard lowers, 
or is " sent down " until it reaches the fore-top-gallant-yard, when 
the sails are furled. 

Fore-royal-stay.— A stay reaching from the fore-royal-masthead 
to the end of the jib-boom, and supporting the mast from being 
drawn backwards. 

Fore-sky sail. — A sail sometimes set above the fore-royal. (See 
Light Sails.) 

1. Fore-mast. 

2. Fore-top-mast. 

3. Fore-top-gallant- 


4. Fore-royal-mast. 

5. Fore-course. 

6. Fore-top-sail. 

7. Fore-top-gallant- 


8. Fore-royal-sail. 

9. Fore-sky-sail. 

10. Fore-stay. 

11. Fore-stay-sail: 

12. Fore-top-mast-stay. 

13. Fore-top-mast-stay- 

sail or inner jib. 

14. Fore - top - gallant- 


15. Fore- top - gallant- 
stay -sail or tty- 


16. Middle-jib. 

17. Fore-royal-stay. 


Forge. — To force violently, as a ship over a shoal hy a great 
press of sail. 

To forge ahead. — To go on ahead of or gain upon another : or 
simply to make good way. 

Fork-beam. — In ship-building, a small forked beam introduced 
for the support of a deck where a hatchway occurs. 

Forming. — In shipbuilding, shaping partially converted timbers 
so as to give them the desired form for building. 
Forward. — In front of. 

Forward part. — The fore-part, in the vicinity of the bows of a 

" Forward all!" (in rowing). — An order to rowers to stretch for- 
ward, ready to take a stroke. The order is usually given preparatory 
either to " go " or to " paddle." 

Pother, or fodder. — A method of stopping a leak in a vessel 
at sea : it may be done in various ways, but the principle of the 
practice is to allow the current of water into the leak to carry so 
great a quantity of small stuff (such as the threads of yarn or 
oakum) with it as eventually to stop the leak. To effect this the 
loose stuff must be lowered to the leak in a piece of sail cloth or some 
other useful material and be allowed to remain there. There is no 
doubt that vessels have been saved by this means ; but for small 
craft there is a quicker method of stopping a leak, viz., by passing 
down a piece of sailcloth, packed with old yarn or any other sub- 
stance at hand, and drawing it, if the hole be large enough, into the 
hole, or if it be too small, by fixing the cloth with ropes round the 

Foul. — Unpleasant, as bilge water may be, or as the interior of 
a fishing boat may become when she becomes infested with lice or 
sea slugs. When any tackle or rope becomes entangled it is said to 
be foul, as a foul hatvse, which is an entanglement of the cable of a 

Ford ground is dangerous ground for a vessel to ran upon, or 
which affords bad anchorage. 

Foul water. — When a ship conies into water so shallow that, 
though she does not ground, she stirs up the mud beneath her, 
she is said to make foul water. 

Fold tvind. — Contrary wind, preventing a vessel from making way. 
To ford. — To ran into anything, such as a. pier, a buoy, or 
another boat, is to foul or " ran foul of it." 

A foul. — In yacht and boat racing, to obstruct the progress of 
any other competitor by unfair means or in any way to break the 
rules under which the race is being contested, constitutes what 
is called a ford. 

Found. — A vessel or boat is said to be " all found " when she 
has masts, rigging, and gear, and all other necessaries for going out, 
and " well found when all these are good. 
Founder. — To fill with water and sink. 



Four-masted Sailing Ship. 

Four. — Fourcant (of a rope). — A rope of four strands. 

Four-masted ship. — These sailing ships are not uncommon, and 
may occasionally be seen in the 
greater ports. Their peculiarity 
consists in the fourth mast, which 
is called the jigger mast. They 
are full rigged with the jigger 
mast bark- rigged. Many of the 
large ocean - going steam ships 
have now four masts, and one 
large German sailing vessel, the 
"Potosi, " has five. There is also a 
class of vessels called four-masted 
schooners, which are fore-and-aft rigged on all masts. These ships 
hail mostly from America : they are very fast and close-winded. 

Fox. — A sort of strand formed hy twisting up several rope- 
yarns and using them as seizings, etc. 

Spanish fox. — A seizing made up of a single rope yarn untwisted 
and re twisted the reverse way. 

Frame. — The frame of a vessel is its skeleton. The principal parts 
will best be understood by reference to the accompanying diagrams. 

Frames. — " The bends of timber constituting the shape of the 
ship's body. When completed a ship is said to be in frame. " 

Frame reel. — A frame upon which a fishing line is wound. 

Frame timbers. — The parts of a futtock (which see), as the floor 
timber, middle timber, top timber, etc. 

In the accompanying diagrams the following constructive members 
(parts of various types of vessels), described each under its own head- 
ing, are illustrated. The Roman numbers refer to the figures ; the 
italics to the situation of the members in the figures. 

Apron, IV. g; VII. 


Beams (deck) I. w ; II. « ; IV. I ; V. ft ; 
(hold), I. y. 
Bent timbers, heads, or bent heads, 

III. e. ; VI. e. 
Bilge, I. 

„ Bilge keel, III./; VI. I. 
Bowsprit bitts, IV. r. 
Breasthook, IV. ft ; V. g ; VI. /. VII. 
.BitJwarfcs (quick work), I.t; II. p; V.l 


Carlines, IV. z; V. j. 

Case, II. j. 

Chocks, I. g. 

Clamps, or sea-scarfs, I. ft. 

Coaming, III. I. 

Counter stay, IV. y. 

Deadwoods, IV. d ; V. c. 

Deck, I. v ; II. r. IV. 

Deck-beams, I. w. (See also Beams.) 

Fall home, I. 

False Keel. (S« Kkki,.) 

Fillets, II. e. 

Flare, I. 

Flat-floors, III. d\ IV. u; V. t ; VI. p. 

Floor-boards, IV. v. 

Floor-timbers, I. 2: V. s; VI. n. 

Foot waling s, VI. m. 

Freeboard, I. 

Futtocks, 1. 1, 2, 3, 4 ; II. 1, 2, 3 ; V. n. 
(See also Ground Futtock, Mid- 
dle Futtock, Top Futtock.) 




Garboard strakes, 1. m, 2 ; II. g ; III. ; 

Ground futtock, otherwise called 

ground timber or first futtock ; 

and, in the middle of a vessel the 

navel futtock, I. 1 ; LL 1 ; V. 1. 
Gunwale, II. in ; VL j. 

„ Gunwale strake, III. h. 


Heads, otherwise called bent-heads, 

or bent-timbers, III. e ; VI. e. 
Head-sheets, VII. q. 
Hold-beams, I. y. 

Inside planking. {See Lining.) 
Inwale, VI. k. 

Keel, 1. o; II. a ; III. a; IV a;V.a; 
VI. a. 
„ False keel, I. c ; IV. c ; V. a 2. 
,, Rebated keel, II. 
,, Keel and garboard united, III. 
Keelson, l.b.ll.b; III. b ; IV b ; V. 
b ; VI. b. 
„ Keelson rider, L d. 
„ Side or sister keelsons, I. e . 
Knees, II. d ; V. *. 
,, Standard knees, L k. 
„ Hanging knees, II. t. 
Knighthead, IV. *; V./. 


Limber Boards, I. /. Sometimes the 
same as the flat- floors (which 
„ Limber spaces, II. /; III. c ; V. 
Lining, I I. ; VII. 

Mast, IV. m. 

„ Mast-case, II. c; IV. p. 

„ Mast-step, II. c ; IV. n. 
Middle futtock, I. 2, 3; II. 2. 

JVaceZ futtock. (See Ground Fut- 
Nose, VI. d. 

Outside planking . (See Skin.) 


Pad piece, I. x. 

Partners, IV. q. 

Planking, inside (See Lining and 

„ Outside. (Skin.) 
Planksheer, I. r. 


Quickwork. (See Bulwarks.) 


Bail, or rough-tree rail, I. u ; 11. qi 

V. m. 
Bebated keel, II. 
Bibs, III. e ; IV. s ; V. n ; VII. (See 

also Futtocks and Bent Timbers.) 
Biders, I. 5, 6. 
Bough-tree rail. (See Rail.) 

„ timber. (See Stanchion.) 
Bubbing piece, III. j. (See Wale.) 

Saxboard, or gunwale strake, ILL h ; 

Sea scarfs. (See Clamps.) 
Seat. (See Thwakt.) 
Sheer strokes, I. p. 
Shelf. (See Stringer.) 
Skin, I. m. ; II. h. ; VII. 
Stanchion (Rough -tree timber, or 

timber-head), 1. s; U.n; X.n 2. 
Standard knees, I. k. 
Stem, or stem-post, IV. e; V. d; VI. 
c; VII. 

„ Stem-head, IV. j: V. e. 

„ Stemson, IV. /; VII. 

„ Stem hand, IV. e 2. 
Stern, or stern-post, IV. w. 

,, Sternson, IV. w 2. 

,, Stern seat, IV. 
Strakes, I. m ; V. p. 

„ Garboard strakes, I m 2; V. p 2 ; 

„ Garboard and keel united, III. 

,, Gunwale strake or saxboard, 
III. h. 
Sheer strakes, I. p. 

„ Thick strakes, I. m 3 ; m 4. 
Topmost strake, VI. p. 
Stringers (or shelf), I. j ; II. * ; III. 
m. IV. < ; V. r ; VI. r. 

„ Carrying thwarts. (See Wir- 

Thick strakes, I. m 3 ; m 4. 
Thwart, III. p ; IV. 
Timber head. (See Stanchion.) 
Top futtock or top-timber, 1. 4 ; II. 3. 
Transom, IV. *. 


Upper deck beams, I. w. 


Wife, I. m 4 ; II. J ; V. q ; VI. h ; VII. 
IVate/' ii»i«, I. 
Water-ways, I. o ; III. k. 
Weather-board, IV. 
Wiring, III. II ; IV. « 2. 



Fig. II. 

w»<» »&>!•[-) Hn.ii-d * j-1 

Fig. III. 

Fir.. V. 




Fig. VI. 

Fig. VII. 

Fig. I.— Half Midship Section of a Wooden Ship. 

a. Keel ; 6. Keelson ; c. False Keel ; 
d. Keelson rider ; e. Side or sister keel- 
sons; /. Limber-boards; g. Chocks for 
rilling up to planking; h. Clamps, or 
sea scarfs; j. Shelf, or stringer; k. 
[Standard knees ; I. Inside planking, or 
lining ; m. Outside planking, or skin, 
made up of strokes; in. 2. Garboard 
strakes ; in 3. Thick strakes at bilge ; m 4. 
Thick strakes above water line, called 
wales ; p. Sheer strake ; q. Water ways ; 
r. Planksheer; s. Stanchion, or rough 

Fig. II.— Half Midship Section of a Strong Cruising Yacht, Double Planked. 

tree timber ; t. Outside planking above 
deck, called buhvarks or quickwork ; 
it. Rail, or rough-tree rail; v. Deck ; w. 
Upp_eE-4eck beams; x. Pad-piece; y. 
Hold beams (i.e., the beams in the hold.) 

1. Floor timber, ground futtock or 
navel futtock (1st futtock); 2. 2nd 
Futtock; 3. 3rd Futtock (middle fut- 
tocks); 4. Top timber (4th futtock); 
5,6. Riders. 

a. Keel; b. Keelson; c. Mast-step; d 
Knee ; e. Fillets ; /. Limber spaces ; g. 
Garboard strakes; h. Skin; j. Case; k. 
Stringers ; I. Wale ; in. Gunwale ; n. 
Stanchion, or timber-head ; p. Bulwark 

planking_ ; q. Rail ; r. Deck ; s. Beam ; 
t. Hanging knee. 

1 Ground futtock; 2. Middle fut- 
tock; 3. Top -timber. 

Fig. III.— Half Midship Section of an Open Sailing-Boat. 
a. Keel ; b. Keelson ; c. Limber spaces ; the gunwale) ; k. Water-way (side deck) ; 
d. Flat floor ; e. Bent timber, head, or I. Coaming ; in. Stringer ; n. Wiring 
bent head (rib) ; /. Bilge keel ; g. (stringers carrying thwarts) ; p. Thwart 
Planking; h. Saxboard, or gunwale (seat), 
strake; j. Rubbing piece (the edge of 

Fig. IV.— Longitudinal Section 
a. Keel; 6. Keelson; c. False keel; 
d. Deadwoods (stem and stern) ; e. 
stem-post ; e 2. Stem-band ; /. Stemson ; 
g. Apron; h, Breasthook; j. Stem-head; 
'k. Knighthead; I. Beams; ra. Mast; 
n. Mast-step ; p. Mast-case ; q. Partners ; 

Fig. V.— Part Frame 
o. Keel ; a 2. False keel ; b. Keelson ; 
c. D3adwood; d. Stem-post; e. Stem- 
liead; /. Knighthead; g. Breasthook; 
h. Beams; j. Carlines; k. Knees; I. 
Bulwark planking ; m. Rough-tree rail ; 

of a Half-Decked Sailing-Boat. 
r. Bowsprit bitts ; s. Ribs, or tim- 
bers ; t Stringers; t 2. Wiring (string- 
ers carrying tlvwarts); it. Flat floors; 
v. Floor boards; w. Stern-post; w 2. 
Starnson ; x. Transom ; y. Counter staj ; 
z. Carline. 

of a Fishing Vessel. 

ii. Futtocks (ribs); n 2. Stanchion, or 
timber head ; p. Strakes ; p 2. Gar- 
board strakes ; q. Wale ; r. Stringers ; s. 
Foot-timbers ; t. Flat floors. 1, Ground 


Fig. VI.— Part Frame of an Open Boat. 

a. Keel ; b. Keelson ; c. Stem ; d. bing piece ; j. Gunwale ; k. Inwale ; I. 

Nose ; e. Bent heads, heads, or bent Bilge Keel ; m. Foot walings ; n. Floor 

timbers; f. Breasthook; g. Saxboard timbers; p. Flat floors; q. Head sheets; 

(the topmost strake); h. Wale, or rub- r. Stringers. 

Fig. VII.— (l) Section of Stem-post and Apron. 
(2) Stem and Breasthook. 

Frapping. — In emergency, the bracing together of ropes so 
as to increase their tension. The term also sometimes signifies the 
binding up of anything with ropes to prevent its bursting, a practice 
which, as applied to ships, appears to be very ancient, for St. Luke 
mentions, in his description of St. Paul's voyage (Acts xxvii., 17), 
that " they used helps, undergirding the ship." But the practice is 
extinct : Falconer, writing more than a century since, describes it 
even then as a remnant of the floating coffins. The word frap still 
exists, however, meaning " to bind " or " draw together. At sea 
the /rapping <s of the shrouds (to the masts) are called cat-harpings. 

Fray.— To become torn at the edge, as of a sail ; or untwisted, 
as of a rope. 

Free. — Sailing free. — Sailing with the wind abaft the beam. 
Freeboard. — That portion of the vessel's side which is " free " 
of the water ; that is, which is not submerged. Its extent is 
measured from the load water line to the deck where the distance 
is shortest. (See diagrams under FRAME.) 

Freight. — The sum of money paid for the hire of a vessel or 
part of her is her freightage. Hence that which she carries has come 
to be regarded as her freight. 

French. — The word " freshen " is sometimes pronounced 
" Frenchen " as in frenchen hawse, etc. 
French f alee. — A species of Flemish coil (which see). 
Fresh. — Fresh breeze or fresh gale. — That which on shore might 
be called a high wind. Thus the wind may be said to be blowing 

Freshen, freshen tip. — To slacken off, as of a rope. 
Freshen hawse. — To let the cable veer out a little. The term is 
a relic of the days of rope cables, which, being always liable to 
chafe and wear bare at the hawse holes, were constantly being 
freshened. They were served with canvas or leather ; but this serving 
being quickly worn through required constant fresh application of 
the service (binding material) ; and this was called freshening. 

Fresh way. — When a vessel increases her speed she is said to get 
fresh way. 

Fret. — To chafe. 

Frigate. — In the modern meaning a full-rigged ship. (See 
Full-rigged Ship.) The old first-class line of battle ships, in the 
days of our wooden walls, were full-rigged, with three decks, while 


the frigates had hut two ; and this appears to have heen their dis- 
tinguishing mark, for they also were full-rigged. A frigate was 
supposed to be a fast sailing vessel for cruising alone, or in company 
with only one or two others, or for escorting merchantmen, and was 
not a line of battle ship. Some of the ironclad ships built in later 
years, though powerful steam vessels, were of this rig, as are also 
many of the fine merchantmen trading with the colonies to-day. 
The old East Indiamen were often frigate-built. This, according 
to Falconer, " implies the disposition of the decks of such merchant- 
ships as have a descent of four or five steps from the quarter -deck 
and forecastle into the waist, in contradistinction to those whose decks 
are on a continued line for the whole length of the ship, which are 
called galley built." 

Frigatoon.— The original frigate is said to have been a Medi- 
terranean vessel, propelled by both oars and sails. At a later time 
a frigatoon is described as " a Venetian vessel built with a square 
stern ; without any foremast ; having only a main mast, a mizzer 
mast, and bolt-sprit, used in the Adriatick Sea" (Bailey's Dictionary); 
Smyth describes this vessel as having main and jigger masts and 
bowsprit, with square stern. 

Frost lamp. — A lamp at one time used in light-houses ; its ad- 
vantage being that the oil was kept running in cold weather. 

Full.— A sail is said to be full when every inch of it is drawing. 
Hence, keep her full will mean keep her drawing ; or, in other 
words, do not go too close to the wind. 

Full and by the wind. — Sailing with the wind ahead of the 
beam. (See under C LOSE-HAULED. ) 

Full-rigged ship; ship; or 
frigate. — A ship having three 
masts with their full complement 
of sails, or, in other words, hav- 
ing royal masts. Until the intro- 
duction of four - masted sailing 
ships, the " ship " hail all the 
masts, sails, spars, etc., that it 
was possible to carry. In modern 
times the name "Frigate" has full-rigg^u.p. 

been given to these ships. 

Fumigate. — It is the practice to fumigate certain craft, such 
as fishing vessels, from time to time, when they become infested 
with vermin. Enormous lice often swarm in these boats, and^must 
be smoked out by lighting a fire over which sulphur and tar or 
sulphur alone is thrown, and shutting down the hatches for a con- 
siderable length of time. 

Funnel (of a steam boat). — The chimney for carrying off the 
smoke, often called the smoke stable. But it also plays an important 
part in creating a draught for the furnacss, and in later times has 
sometimes been made telescopic, so as to regulate this draught. 




Funny.— A narrow sculling boat, pointed bow and stem, and 
open throughout, accommodating only one person, and at one time 
employed in sculling matches : 
it was usually clincher-built. 
The funny was never a snccess- 
ful type of boat, being very 
difficult to keep steady, and 
was quickly superseded by the 
whiff, and that again by the wager or best boat. 

Furl. — To roll a sail and confine it to its yard or boom. 

Furling lines. — Short ropes which are used to secure a sail to the 
yard or boom, when furled. They are also called gaskets and ties. 

" Furling in a body is a particular method of rolling up a topsail, 
>nly practised in harbours, and is performed by gathering all the 
oose part of the sail into the bunt, about the top-mast, whereby the 
ard appears much thinner and lighter than when the sail is furled 
ver all at sea. " (Falconer.) 

Furniture. — The masts and rigging of a vessel with all acces- 
iories constitute that which is sometimes called its furniture. 

Futtock.— This term is evidently derived from the lowest part, 
ov/ool, of a timber, and from the hooked shape of the piece ; hence, 
/•jot-hook (a hook, in shipbuilding, being anything bent or incur- 
vated). In shipbuilding, a futtock is one of the members com- 
posing the ribs of a vessel. The ribs of large ships cannot be made 
of one piece, as can those of open boats ; they consist, therefore, of 
several pieces or members, scarfed together, each one being called a 
"futtock." The lowest of these is the floor timber, also called the 
ground futtock or (amidships) 
the navel futtock ; the one 
above it is the second futtock ; 
above that, if there be one, 
the third futtock ; and the top- 
futtock is the top-timber. Thus 
the floor timber, the middle 
timbers, and the top timber are 
all, properly speaking, futtocks. 

Futtock-plank. — The ground 
futtock, or floor-timber, lies 
above the keel, and upon it ™ ESTIE TR£r 
rests the keelson, which is bolted 
through to the keel. On each 
.side are the bilge planks (both 
inside and out), that one near- 
est the keel on each side being 
called the " futtock - plank. " 
(See diagram under FRAME.) 

Futtock-plate (in rigging). — 
Apart from any connection with 
the futtocks forming the ribs of Futtock-plate. 




a ship, the masts of large vessels are sometimes furnished with an 
apparatus called the futtoclc-plate and shrouds. It consists of an 
iron plate at the masthead, set athwart the ship ; and its use is to 
extend the topmast shrouds, thus (like the channels to the lower 
mast) giving lateral support to the topmast. 

Futtoclc stave. — A short piece of rope hy which the shrouds are 
confined at the cat harpings. 


Gaff (usually pronounced garf or garft). — The spar which 
extends the head (or upper portion) of a fore-and-aft sail, such as the 
mainsail of a cutter. A sail suspended hy a gaff is called a gaff sail, in 
contradistinction to a sail suspended by a yard, which is a square sail. 
The form and gear of a gaff are as follows (see fig.): — The lower end 
is furnished with yaw* (sometimes called hounds) made of hard wood, 
sometimes metal ; and in large yachts a clapper, or tumbler, is fitted 
between them to prevent chafing ; this portion of the spar being called 

,icll y<x^ot 

*** .Hal 




''•Man.* kaljard. toltr 

TricitLq litit 



the clip. The jaws partially encircle the mast, the circle being com- 
pleted by a rope on which several round beads of hard wood, called 
trucks, have been threaded ; this is the parrel, which allows the gaff 
to be raised and lowered without jamming. The upper end of the 
gaff is called the peak ; the lower the throat. It is hauled up by two 
halyards, the one being fixed to the throat, and therefore called the 
throat halyard (or, in single masted boats, simply the main- 
halyard) ; the other usually at two in pots further up the spar for 
elevating the peak, and for that reason designated the peak-halyard. 
In raising the sail these two halyards are hauled on together, so 
that the gaff may go up in a position almost horizontal ; and when 
the clip is well up the peak is set tip, and swigged upon to make 
the sail hang flat : in large vessels, a tackle is employed for this 
latter purpose. In each case these halyards pass through blocks, the 
number of sheaves in which varies according to the power necessary 
for lifting the sail. The block through which runs the throat 



halyard is often attached to the gaff hy a double-eyed bolt called the 
main-halyard bolt, the lower eye being underneath, and carrying 
on it another smaller block, through which another rope is rove 
communicating with the tack of the 
sail ; this is the tricing -line, and its 
object is to pull or trice up the luff 
of the sail, so as quickly to reduce 
the area it presents to the wind. 
The peak-halyard blocks are carried 
in large vessels by spans, which are 
kept from slipping by small excre- 
scences called spurs or thumb cleats. 
' Over the guy-end (after-end) of the 
gaff is fitted a cap, or end-ring, with 
eyes. The ring prevents the spar 
from splitting, while the eyes serve 
to carry small blocks, one for the 
topsail sheet, another for the peak- 
line, a thin rope used sometimes 
for hauling down the peak, but 
mostly as a flag halyard, the ensign 
or some other flag being often 
hoisted at the peak as a signal. In 
small craft and yachts, the gaff is 
always lowered and stowed away 
with the boom, the peak-halyards 
being unshackled when the sail 
cover is put on, and then replaced 
by hooking the blocks to slings 
which pass under the boom and 
round the cover. But in vessels 
of larger class it is often set with- 
out the sail. And as, in such a case, it will naturally sway back- 
wards and forwards, ropes are stretched from the guy end of the 
peak to the sides of the vessel ; these ropes being called vanes or 
vangs ; The sprit of a barge is always steadied by vangs. 

The mainsail of a cutter, sloop, yawl, etc., being set up, it may 
be desirable to add another sail above it, which is known as agaff-top- 
sail, and is elevated by means of a halyard passing through a sheave 
or block, attached near the head of the topmast, and the foot of 
which is stretched along the gaff, whence the name. In this sense 
any topsail on a gaff may be termed a gaff-topsail, but, for con- 
venience in distinguishing the shape, each has its name, as jack 
topsail, sometimes called a donkey topsail ; jib-headed, or working 
topsail ; spinnaker topsail ; and on a yacht, a brig topsail ; by the 
last being generally understood a species of standing lug, extended 
over the main. (See under Topsails.) 

Gain the wind (of another ship). — To get to windward of her. 

Gale. — The term as used at sea has a different meaning from that 
usually understood by it ashore. It means a continuous wind, of 

ir 2 



which there may be several degrees, — 1. a fresh gale; 2. a strong 
gale ; 3. a heavy, hard, or ichole gale. " Half a gale " is a popular 
term among seamen, who mean by it as strong a wind as can blow. 

Gallant. — From "Garland" {which see), hence the usual pro- 
nunciation of the word, " Garn, " as t'gam for top-gallant. The 
word has considerable use at sea. {See Mast, Sail, Stays, Top, 
Deck, etc.) 

Galleon. — A name formerly given to ships of war having three 
or four batteries. Later applied by the Spaniards to their large 
merchantmen. To-day sometimes used in talking of any heavy 
looking craft. 

Galley. — 1. The cook-house of a ship. 2. A big boat. 

Bow galley. — An open boat with six or eight oars, used by custom 
house officers, etc., but the word is dropping out of use. 

Galliot (pronounced by the fishermen "galley-yacht"). — A 
Dutch vessel of remarkable type. She is very long and narrow, 
and may reach to 100 tons burden. 
She is fore-and-aft rigged with 
two masts, main and mizzen, the 
latter being little more than a 
jigger, and answering the same 
purpose as the same sail does in 
our own sailing barges ; that is 
to assist the rudder in getting the 
vessel round ; and for this pur- 
pose it works with the rudder. 
But the galliot is principally peculiar in the form of her mainsail, 
the foot of which is enormously long, while the head is extremely 
short. The vessel is now rare. 

Gallows-bitts. — On ships, a frame for the support of spars, 
boats, etc. : the form is supposed to have resembled a gallows. 

Galvanizing. — Nearly all iron fittings to sailing craft are now 
galvanized, the process being very cheap, and its effect as a preserva- 
tive against rust lasting a long time. Articles to be galvanized are 
first pickled, that is immersed in weak sulphuric acid and water 
(about 1 per cent, of acid); they are then washed in lime water, and 
afterwards placed in a bath of chloride of zinc for a few minutes. 
When dry they are continually dipped in melted zinc (wliich should 
not be at too great a heat) until a sufficient coating has adhered, any 
excess being removed by ham- 
mering or wire- brushing while 
still hot. 

Gammoning. — In ships the 
fastening and lashing down of 
the bowsprit. {See fig.) 

Gammoning holes. — The holes 
through which the ropes used 
in lashing the bowsprit pass: 
(See fig.) 



Gammoning -iron. — A ring, bolted to the stem head of a sailing 

boat, and through which the bowsprit passes. It does away with 

the necessity of gammoning. (See under BOWSPRIT.) 

Gang. — A number of men employed on any particular service. 

Gang board. — A board used for getting on board a vessel from a 

quay or pier. I 

Gangway. — 1. A narrow platform or bridge passing over 
from one deck of a vessel to another. 2. That part of a ship's 
bulwarks which are removable so that persons can walk on board by 
a gang board. 3. A narrow passage left between the stowage of 
cargo in a ship to allow of a man going down to make examinations. 

Garboard. — The lowest part of a vessel. 

Garboard strakes (sometimes called garboards in shipbuilding). 
— The lowest strakes in a vessel, which abut upon the keel. They 
are also called the ground or sand strakes. (See diagrams under 

Garland. — A ring of rope placed round a spar for the purpose of 
moving it, as, for instance, when swaying a heavy mast. Other- 
wise a collar of rope wound about the head of a mast to keep the 
shrouds from galling. A garland in ancient days was a rope used 
in swaying the topmasts. Hence, when a mast was added to ships 
above the topmasts, it was called a garland mast ; and the word be- 
coming corrupted, eventually resolved itself into "gallant," in 
writing, though the original pronunciation "garn" has been pre- 
served amongst seamen in speaking to this day. 

Garnet. — A short line attached to the claw of a lower square 
sail or course. (See C LEW-GARNETS, under Clew.) 

Gas-buoy. — A large buoy, on the margin of a shoal or channel, 
upon which a gas light is always burning. 

Gaskets. — Small cords by which a sail when furled is kept bound 
up to a yard, boom, or gaff; there are several, as the bunt-gasket, 
the quarter -gasket, the yard-arm-gasket. They are also called ties 
and furling lines. The gasket, in a steam engine, is the hempen 
plait used for packing pump pistons, etc. 

Gather. — To draw in, as of a sheet. 

To gather way. — To increase speed in sailing. 

Gatt. — A channel in an open piece of water, as the " Fishermen's 
Gatt " in the estuary of the Thames. The word is Low German. 
A gatt must not be confounded with a gut, which is only a small 
waterway, whereas a gatt may be a sheet of water many miles in 

Ganntlet (properly gant-lope). — Running the gauntlet. — A form 
of punishment for an offence revolting to the feelings of the whole 
crew of a vessel, and therefore giving to every member an opportunity 
of visiting his own peculiar displeasure upon the offender. It con- 
sisted in making a man pass down between the whole crew formed 
up in two lines facing each other, each man being furnished with a 
rope -end with which he slashed at the offender as he passed. The 
punishment is long since extinct, if indeed it ever existed as a 


recognised practice ; but it is from this origin that we have the 
popular expression " running the gauntlet." 

Gear. — A general term which may mean rigging, tackle, ropes, 
belonging to a spar or sail, or indeed any part of the working ap- 
paratus of a vessel, as the gear of the helm, which consists of the 
wheel, the tiller, the chains, the blocks, and all other necessary parts. 

Gearing in machinery is the method of transmitting, increasing, 
or altering the direction of power, as by cog or gearing -wheels. 

Out of gear. — Out of order, or if with reference to gearing in 
machinery, the act of stopping power in some part while another part 
is still working is to throw that part which is stopped " out of gear." 

Gib. — Another word for a pin or forelock (a pin through a bolt). 

Gift rope. — (See Guest 

EOPE. ) 

Gig. — An open boat, usu- 
ally clincher - built, with a 
straight sheer and upright 
stem and gunwale. It is Gig. 

one of the boats belonging 

to a ship, as the captain's gig. At one time the gig was very 
popular on the Upper Thames, but has now been almost entirely 
superseded by the skiff. 

Gin.— (See Gyn.) 

Gimbals. — The brass rings which suspend a compass so as to 
keep it horizontal. (See COMPASS.) 

Girdle. — A rope round anything, as a /rapping. Also an extra 
planking occasionally placed over the wales in old wooden ships. 

Girt. — Bound. A vessel riding under taughtened cables, which 
hold her by the sides, is said to be girt. 

Girt line (sometimes called the gaut bine). — A rope used to hoist 
up a mast or its rigging. 

Give. — The elasticity which every boat should possess, under 
strain and shrinkage, is called the give. Every member in the build- 
ing of a vessel is allowed a certain play, or in other words is allowed 
to " work. " This adds not only to the strength and endurance of a 
vessel, but also to her speed ; and it is said that so well was this 
recognised of old that pirates have been known, when hard pressed 
in chase, to saw through the beams of their boats for the sake of the 
extra speed to be gained. If a boat have no give, the strain upon 
her will be much increased, and she will the sooner become leaky. 

Give her sheet. — Ease off the sheet. 

Give way (in rowing). — Begin pulling. 

Give over. — To stop or cease doing anything. 

Glut. — " A patch at the centre of the head of the sail, having an 
eyelet for the becket rope." (" Dictionary of Mechanics.") 

Go. — Go! — The order to start, in racing : it is generally pre- 
ceded by the question, " Are you ready?" and if no answer is given, 
the word " Go " follows almost immediately. 



Go about (in sailing). — To come round head to wind, so as to come 
on the other tack. (See Tack.) 

Go by. — To give a person the go hy is to pass, overtake or escape 
from him. 

Go a-head! — Go on ! order on steamers to start the engine forward. 

Going free. — In sailing, the same as sailing free or large. (See 
Sailing Free.) 

Gondola. — A Venetian boat. 

" 'Tis a long covered boat that's common here, 

Carved at the prow, built lightly but compactly, 
Rowed by two rowers, each called 'Gondolier,' 

It glides along the water looking blackly, 
Just like a coffin clapt in a canoe, 

Where none can make out what you say or do. — " 

(Byron—" Beppo.") 

Gone. — Broken away ; spoken of any sail or spar on a vessel. 

Gone. — A common way of expressing that some person has sunk, 
if drowning, or under any other circumstances to give notice of 
death without the necessity of using the word. In this sense the 
term is much used amongst seafaring folk. 

Goodgeons (Goodgeons and pintles). — The fittings of a rudder to 
its stempost. The goodgeons (pro- 
nounced gudgeons), also called braces, 
are those bands of iron, terminating in 
eyes (and secured sometimes to the 
rudder, sometimes to the sternpost, and 
•sometimes one on each) into which the 
pintles are inserted. The pintles are 
the long hooks which fall into the 
goodgeons. This arrangement allows 
the rudder to swing freely, and to he 
unshipped or shipped as may be re- 
quired. (See diagram under KuDDER. ) 

Goose (Gooseneck and shaffle). — 
The fitting of a boom to a mast by 
means of a kind of pin or hook at the 
heel of a boom which fits into a ring or short 
cylinder on the mast. The pin is called the 
gooseneck, probably because it is — (in its 
simplest, hook form) so curved as somewhat 
to resemble the neck of a goose or swan. 
The ring which receives it is the shaffle. 
But a boom is also frequently fitted with 
jaws (as in a gaff) which partly encircle the 
mast, and in this case there is usually a ring 
or shoulder called a saddle on the mast 
which prevents the boom from sliding down. 
In either case the complete fitting may be 
called the boom-stays. 

Goosewing. — The shape of a square sail, Goosewing. 


when the bunt (middle part) is hauled up while the clews (lower 
corners) hang. This is supposed to resemble the wings of a goose, 
and hence a sail so disposed is called a goosewing. This may be 
done when it is required to reduce sail without reefing, as in heavy 
weather or for scudding. Studding sails are also occasionally 
called goosewings. 

Gore. — A small piece sometimes introduced at the corner of a, 
sail, or an increase in the depth or width of any of the cloths. 

Gore strake. — In shipbuilding an angular piece of planking or a 
strake terminating short of the stem or stem posts. 

Gorge (of a block). — The groove or score in the sheave (wheel) of 
the block. 

Graft. — To graft is to taper the end of a rope by weaving yarn 
round it. It may also mean to join two ropes together by splicing 
and weaving over. 

Granny knot. — A knot improperly tied, i.e., One which will slip 
or come undone when hauled upon. The term may be applied to 
any knot, but is generally understood to refer to the reef knot. 
The tying a granny is regarded, among yachting or boating amateurs, 
as an unforgivable sin. It will be well, therefore, for the 
beginner to become familiar with a few of the knots in most frequent 
use before venturing aboard a sailing boat. (See KNOTS.) 

Grapnel. — A small anchor of several arms or claws arranged in 
a circular manner at the end of the shank. It is mostly used by 
small craft, though sometimes as a hedge (which see). Very small 
ones are called hand grapnels. In old times the grapnel, or, as it 
was then called, the grapple or grappling iron, was used by ships in 
close action for seizing the rigging of an enemy's vessel and dragging 
the two together preparatory to boarding. Grappling irons are of 
various forms, and are still used for various purposes, as for 
holding vessels together when unloading, etc. (See fig. under 
Anchor. ) 

Gratings. — 1. (At sea). — Open-work or trellised frames placed 
over hatchways or lights in rough weather. 2. (In boats). — Open 
work coverings to any part, such as stern or head sheets, etc. They 
are ornamental as well as useful in allowing a free circulation of air 
to reach all parts of a boat. 

Grave. — To clean a ship's bottom, as by breaming, which is burn- 
ing the accumulation off her. 

Graving dock. — A dock in Avhich graving may be done. A dry 

Great out. — An expression made use of by fishermen when 
the sea recedes to a more than usual extent during spring -tides. 

Green (Green hand or green horn). — A new hand, or a lubberly 

Green heart. — A wood imported from the West Indies and much 
used in the making of piers, etc., for fendei piles. It was also 
originally employed for the pins of blocks. 



Grid-iron. — A skeleton framework of wood upon which a vessel 
may be supported when it is necessary to have the bottom of her 
inspected, as after she has taken the ground. 

Grip (of an oar). — The part gripped by the hand. {See Oar.) 

Gripe (in sailing). — The hold a vessel takes of the water when 
under sail, or, in other words, her tendency to run up into the wind. 
If she carries considerable weather helm she is said to gripe well ; this, 
however, may be carried to excess. (Sec WEATHER Hklm.) 

Gripe (in shipbuilding). — The fore foot or fore end of the keel of a 
ship on which the stem is set ; or, in other words, the sharpness of her 
stem underwater ; which is made thus in order to gripe the water. 

Gripes (on shipboard) are the extra ropes and gear by which 
boats are made secure in heavy weather. 

Grommet (pronounced " grummet "). — A ring of rope ; or a loop 
formed at the end of a rope 
by unlaying the strands, 
turning the end over and 
splicing it into the open 
strands; and sometimes the 
splice is bound with yarn : 
this may be made to fit 
over a spar and to carry 
a block. Where only small 
grommets are required, 
metal rings or eyelets 
called thimbles are usu- 
ally inserted into the loop. 

Ground. — To ground is 
to ran aground, or ashore. If this takes place with a yacht or big 
boat when the tide is rising, the consequences will not be very serious. 
With the aid of her sails and sweeps she will soon float. But should 
the tide be falling, not a moment is to be lost. Her sails are so to 
be set that she may be backed off as the wind Alls them. The best 
way to effect this when the wind blows off the shore, is to haul one 
or both of the head sails (jib and foresail) over to windward, and to 
hold the main sail out in the same direction. The sweeps or a pole 
may be used to help her off at the same time, but nothing is so 
efficacious as the sails, until she moves, when sweeps may be of the 
utmost service. If she does not move within a very few minutes, 
there is little chance of her coming off until the tide flows again. 

Ground swell. — At sea, an undulation of the waters caused by a 
continuance of heavy gales. Such ground swells are transmitted 
with great rapidity, even against the wind, and sometimes to great 
distances; they indicate, by their direction, the quarter in which a 
gale has taken place, and have been known to come from various 
directions at the same time. The swell or wash (see Wash) caused 
by a passing steam or other large boat is sometimes called a ground 
swell. This is not, strictly speaking, correct, although it is cer- 
tainly the case that a steamboat occasionally does, in certain states 



of the tide, create in narrow channels (such as a river) a true ground 
swell, which may often be seen coming up some considerable distance 
behind her, even against a strong run of tide. This is not her wash, 
and it may even be doubted whether it is in any way caused by her 
wash ; it is more probably the result of her draught, considered in 
connection with the depth (or rather, want of depth) of water in which 
she is travelling, and the speed at which she goes. Her wash may be 
followed all along the shore, subsiding as she disappears ; some 
minutes after which the ground swell will be seen coming up, wave 
after wave, not drawing the water up to it and breaking upon the 
shore as does the wash, but continuing its uninterrupted course, often 
gathering strength as it goes. These swells in rivers are sometimes 
very dangerous to small boats, and care should therefore be taken 
not to meet them broad-side. Care should, indeed, always be taken 
in meeting a steam-boat, as at all other critical moments. 

Ground taekle. — The name sometimes applied to the gear belong- 
ing to moorings, anchors, and such like ground implements. 

Ground futtoeh. — {See FuTTOCK. ) 

Grow.- — An expression made -use of to describe the position of 
some of the rigging of a ship, as " the cable grows on the star- 
board side, " i.e., runs out on that side. 

Growing. — New boats are said to grow, i.e., to become larger when 
placed in the water ; so that after a year or two there is a measurable 
difference in their form ; and for this reason they are seldom copper 
sheathed until they have been in the water a year or two. 

Grown spar, or ri'lcer. — A spar made out of an entire small tree, 
not cut out of a large one. These are always much to be desired 
for small craft, being superior to the made spars. 

Groyne. — A timber construction (sometimes strengthened 
with stone) on a beach, running out into the sea or from a river 
bank, and sometimes set in the direction of the main current. It is 
often called a breakwater {which see), though improperly, for its object 
is not so much to break the force of the waves as to create a natural 
breakwater by accumulating a quantity of shingle or sand, thereby 
elevating the level of the beach and preventing the encroachment 
of the sea. " A groyne 

is, in fact, a projection "^^^^^^^S 

that is carried out from 
the banks of the sea, or 
of a river, in a direc- 
tion perpendicular to, or 
occasionally inclined to 
the set of, the current ; 
and it is supposed to 
act in the first case by 
retaining the shingle, 
which has a tendency 

to move in the direction of the prevailing wind ; and in the latter, 
by diverting the channel in the direction required." (Brande and 
Cox.) Some engineers are of opinion that these constructions, 


unless placed so close together as to throw up almost a con- 
tinuous wall, do more harm than good hy creating a back current 
on the down side which carries with it the shingle or earth they 
are intended to accumulate. 
Gudgeons. — (See Goodgeons. ) 

Guest rope, guess rope, or guest warp.— A rope used to 
steady a boat in tow. It is an addition to the tow rope. Also 
called chest rope and gift rope. 

Gun-tackle-— Originally the tackle applied to a gun. It 
is a tackle composed of two single blocks, one movable, the other 
fixed, the standing end of the fall (rope) being fast to the movable 
block. It increases the power three-fold. 

Gun tackle purchase. — -In sailing yachts the tackle applied in 
drawing down the tack of the mainsail is sometimes thus called. 

Gunter. — Gunter's scale. — "A large plain scale having various 
bines of numbers engraved on it, by means of which questions in 
navigation are resolved with the aid of a pair of compasses. It is 
usually called the gunter by seamen." (Brande and Cox.) 

Sliding gunter. — A peculiar sail adapted to boats. In place of a 
gaff it has a yard sliding up and down the mast. 

Gunwale (pronounced "gunnel"). — It would appear from the 
name (gun wale) that this portion of a boat must have originally 
served to support small guns. The gunwale in vessels rests upon 
the wale (which see). In an open 
boat it is the top of, or a piece run- 
ning round above, the sax board. In 
it, at correct intervals, are holes for 
the rowlocks or tholes. The inwale 
(where it exists) is beneath the gun- 
wale, supporting it, within-board, on 
the bent-heads (ribs) ; and on the 
outside is sometimes fixed another 
strengthening plank, then called the rubbing piece or wale. In such 
boats as the Thames skiffs, where the sides rise up, bike wings, to 
eacli rowlock, there is, properly speaking, no gunwale. 

The gunwale str alee (in open boats the saxboard) is the uppermost 
strake of a boat. To it the gunwale is fixed. 

Gunwale down or gunwale to. — When a boat casts over so that 
her gunwale touches the surface of the water. 

Gut. — A small channel, such as may be left by the tide on an 
ebb-dry foreshore. (See also GATT.) 

Gutter-ledge. — A crossbar placed along the middle of a large 
hatchway to support the covers and give them strength to carry any 
weight. (See diagram under HATCH.) 

Guy. — A steadying or stay-rope, as the guy of a crane which 
steadies its arm as it swings a weight. In sailing boats, it is a rope 
which serves to keep a sail or spar in trim — i.e., in the desired posi- 
tion — as the guy of a spinnaker, which keeps that sail forward. 
A slack rope extending between two masts, and carrying a block or 
tackle, is also called a guy. 


Guy end. — That end of a spar to which a guy is or may be fixed. 
The spar is then said to be " guyed. " 

Spinnaker, fore or after guy, are the names sometimes given to the 
ropes or tackles which haul the spinnaker boom forward or back ; 
but they should more properly be called the spinnaker boom braces. 
(See under SPINNAKER.) 

A guy pennant, sometimes termed a lazy guy, is a rope occasion- 
ally used to keep a boom from jerking up and down, in a rolling sea ; 
it must be so fastened round the boom that it can be let go at a 
moment's notice. 

In ships there are various guys. 

Gybe. — The swinging over of a fore-and-aft sail when running 
before the wind. This may be done purposely when slightly 
altering the boat's course, in which case care should be taken that 
the jerk of the boom and sail is not too severe ; or it may happen by 
accident and almost instantaneously, in which case there is danger 
of carrying something away. Gybing may take place with the 
slightest variation of the wind or of the boat's course, and should, 
therefore, be constantly looked out for. When it happens unex- 
pectedly, the helmsman who may be fortunate enough to see it 
coming, should rapidly gather in his main sheet, putting his helm 
hard down at the same time : the jerk may by this means be, to a 
certain extent, taken off the mast and stays, and the sheet can then 
be let out again as required. Beginners are often too apt to let 
their sail gybe : it is, in yachts, a very dangerous practice. 

In large racing yachts, however, gybing is often accomplished in 
that which would appear to be a most reckless manner. The boom 
is allowed to fly round amain, and without any check, its weight 
as it swings over so bending down the boat that the boom strikes the 
water and thus saves itself. 

Gyn. — A hoisting machine on three tall legs, and fitted with a sort 
of windlass?, and one block, called the gyn block. (See Block.) 

Gyn tackle. — A system consisting of a movable double and a 
triple block, the standing end of the fall (i.e., the fixed end of the 
rope) being fast to the double block. It increases the power five- 

Haft. — The handle of a tool, knife, etc. 

Hail. — To salute, accost, call out to, or make a sign to any 

Hake's teeth, or hag's teeth. — "A phrase applied to some 
part of the deep soundings in the British Channel. But it is a 
distinct shell-fish, being the dentalium, the presence of which is a 
valuable guide to the Channel pilot in foggy weather." (Smyth.) 

Hale. — To hale, in old nautical phraseology, is to pull : hence 
the word became confounded with and eventually corrupted into 
haul (which see). 



Half Deck. 

Half. — Half beams. — In a ship, short beams extending from the 
sides only to the hatchways. 

Half-breadth plan. — In shipbuilding, the plan of one half of a 
vessel divided by a centre line drawn through stem and stern posts. 
It shows water, bow, buttock, and diagonal lines. (See LINES.) 

Half-breadth staff", or rod. — In shipbuilding, a rod having marked 
upon it the half-lengths of the beams of a vessel. It is very 
precisely measured from the half-breadth plan. 

Half davit. — The fish davit [which see) is sometimes thus called 
because it is only a short davit. 

Half deck. — In ships, a space in the fore part of a vessel. In 
some of the old Northumbrian colliers the ste erage or forecastle 
deck was called the half deck. In 
sailing boats a half deck is one 
extending over only a portion of 
a boat, the rest being open. For 
racing purposes it has been found 
necessary to define a half decked 
boat ; it must be open aft of the 
mast, and forward of the transom, 
this open space not exceeding one 
half of the internal area of the 
boat ; and the waterways on each 
side must not exceed (measured 
from the outside of the boat to the inside of the coaming) one tenth 
of the beam of the boat. A boat that fails to comply with these 
conditions must be classed as a decked boat. 

Half ebb, half flood. — (-See next page, Half Tide.) 

Hal 'j floor. — In shipbuilding, one of 
the timbers in the frame of a ship. Its 
heel is set over the keel, and upon its 
head rests the second futtock. 

Half hitch. — One bend in a rope ; part 
of the process of making a knot. (See 

Half laughs and purser's grins. — 
" Hypocritical and satirical sneer." 

Half man. — Aname sometimes given, 
in coasting vessels, to a landsman (which 
see) or boy. 

Half mast (of a flag). — A flag half 
mast liigh is a sign of mourning ; on an 
owner's vessel it is generally kept thus 
until after the burial. (See fig.) '^V" 

Half-minute glass. — At sea, a sand 
glass used in running out the old form 
of log. 

Half outriggers. — Short outriggers Flag Half Mast High. 


fitted to narrow skiffs. They are considerably used on the Upper 
Thames, but not often elsewhere. (See diagram under RlG. ) 

Half spike. — A short pike originally employed in boarding an 
enemy's vessel. 

Half points (of the compass.) — The mariner's compass is divided 
into 32 points. (See COMPASS.) Half one of these divisions is half 
a point. A half point is therefore 5° 37' 30" of the circle. 

Half port (in the Navy). — In old ships, a porthole shutter perfor- 
ated with a hole, through which the muzzle of a gun could be thrust. 

Half-rater. — A racing boat whose dimensions comply with 
certain rules of rating for racing purposes. (See under RATE. ) 

Half sea. — An old term for mid-channel. (Smyth.) 

Half seas over. — Half drunk. The term was used by Swift. 

Half speed (with steam vessels). Reduced speed, ahead or astern. 

Half tide. — The condition of the tide when half way between its 
highest and lowest ; with a rising tide it is called half food, with a 
falling tide half ebb. 

Half tide rocks are those which show themselves at half-tide. 

Half-timber. — In ship-building, a short futtoek. 

Half turn, ahead or astern (with steam vessels). An order to start 
the engines ahead or astern and stop them again immediately. 

Halyard. — A rope, sometimes a chain, by which a sail, flag, or 
yard is hoisted — hence the name — " haul yard." A halyard is 
usually a tackle (which see), and in such a case consists of two parts : 
viz., the pendant, or that part between the blocks, and the end 
hauled upon, which is often called the fall (see diagram under 
that head). Halyards take their names from the spars or sails 
upon which they act, as throat-halyards (those which elevate the 
throat of a gaff), etc. For reference to any particular halyard, see 
under the name of its sail. 

Hambrough, or hamber line. — Small bine used for seizings, 
lashings, and a variety of other purposes on shipboard. 

Hammock. — A swinging bed much used at sea. " In the language 
of some tribes in the West Indian islands, the word hamac denoted 
nets of cotton extended from two posts, and used as beds. From 
them the word was borrowed by the companions of Columbus, who 
transferred it to us through the Spanish word hamaca.'''' (Brande 
and Cox.) 

Hammock nettings. — In old sailing ships, a net-work rack in 
which hammocks are stowed. They were often under the bul- 

Hamper. — (See also Top Hamper.) Height aloft, as the yards, 
topmasts, etc., of a ship. Smyth describes it thus : — '" Things 
which, though necessary, are in the way in times of gale or service." 

Hand.— A term often used for the word " man," as " all hands 
ahoy," " another hand wanted," etc. 

Handlass. — An old name for a windlass, because worked by hand. 

Hand lead. — The smaller of the leads for sounding : — that is for 
finding the depth of water beneath a vessel. (See Lead.) 



Hand mast. — A pole mast. Otherwise a mast made out of a hand 
spar. (See below, Hand Spar.) 

Hand over hand. — Hauling rapidly, and passing one hand alter- 
nately over the other. 

Hand rail. — A rail running along any portion of a vessel's deck. 

Hand spar. — A round mast of one piece. " Those from Riga 
are commonly over 70ft. long by 20in. in diameter." (Smyth.) 

Hand spike. — A bar employed as a lever for lifting heavy objects, 
or for working a windlass. 

Handle. — To handle a boat well is to sail, and generally to 
work, her in seamanlike fashion. 

Handsomely. — A term which sounds somewhat contradictory. 
It means the opposite to hasty, and is used occasionally with 
reference to ropes or halyards, as "Lower away handsomely," 
which would mean " lower away gradually, or moderately, but not 
necessarily slowly." Sometimes, too, it is understood to mean 
" bit by bit," as " Let out the cable handsomely !" — i.e., a little at 
the time. 

Handy. — To be handy is to be capable of turning a hand to 
anything one may be called upon to do ; and especially to be able 
to do it quickly, and without bungling. A boat is said to be 
handy when she answers her helm well and is generally well- 
behaved under all circumstances. 

Handy billy. — A small purchase or tackle, sometimes called a 
jigger purchase. 

Hang. — Spoken of anything leaning out of the 
upright, as a mast which may hang back if too taut 
in the backstays, or forward if too loose. 

To hang on to any rope is to hold it tightly with- 
out belaying it. " Hang on," as an expression, often 
means simply " Hold on." 

To hang the rudder is to fix it in its braces ready for 

Hanging knees. — In shipbuilding, knees or sup- 
ports fastened under deck beams. 

Hanging standard knees are others used in some- 
what the same manner. 

Hang, or sny. — Among shipwrights a slight upward 
curve in a timber is called a sny : if its tendency is 
downwards, it is said to hang. 

Hanks. — Kings, of wood or iron, or catch-hooks, 
by -which sails may be made to run on stays, or 
purchase ropes be hooked on to tackles. (See fig.) 
Thus a foresail runs on to the forestay by hanks. 
The mast rings are also sometimes called the hanks. 

Hank for hank. — An expression signifying that two 
vessels work to windward together, tack for tack. 

Harbour. — A piece of navigable water communicating with a 
sea or river, having a roadstead, and protected from storms. There 




are permanent harbours, tidal harbours, and harbours of refuge, 
often called havens. 

Harbour gaskets. — With sailing ships, the gaskets with which 
sails are furled in harbour, or when it is desired to appear smart* 
They used to be well blacked in the Royal Navy, so as to contrast 
well Math the whiteness of the sails. 

Hard. — 1. " Hard," in nautical language, is often joined to words 
of command to the helmsman, signifying that the order should be 
carried out with the utmost energy, e.g. : 

Hard up (of the helm), or hard a'weather — to put the tiller of 
a vessel quickly over to the windward. 

Hard down, hard a'lee — to put the tiller quickly over to the lee 

Hard over. — To put the helm over is to shift it : that is to bear 
the tiller over to the corresponding position on the opposite side of 
the vessel : hard over is to do this with the utmost energy. These 
terms are more fully explained under the heading Helm. 

2. Hard. — A solid path or way artificially (occasionally naturally) 
formed on a soft mud flat or foreshore, its use being that a boat may 
land its occupants there at any state of the tide. 

3. Hard and fast. — Fixed or immovable. 

4. " Hard up in a clinch and no knife to cut the seizings." — An ex- 
pression sometimes used in a dilemma out of which it is difficult to 
see the way. 

Harl, or harr. — A northern storm ; generally, however, it is 
understood to mean a cold mist with easterly wind. 

Harness. — Harness cash (at sea). — A cask holding food for 
immediate use. 

• Harness hitch. — A knot employed in harnessing men to a tow- 
line. (See Knots.) 

Harpings. — In shipbuilding cer- 
tain of the wales (planks) at the for- 
ward part of a hull are thicker than 
•elsewhere : these stronger wales are 
called harpings. 

Cat harpings. — Ropes for frapping 
(girting in) a ship's standing rigging 
so that the lower yards may be braced 
up sharp. 

Harpoon. — A barbed javelin used 
in spearing whales. 

Hasp. — Generally speaking afasten- 
ing, such as a clamp; a bar dropping 
into a staple ; a padlock. 

Hatch, hatchway. — A hatch- 
way is an opening in the deck of a 
vessel through which persons or cargo may descend : it is covered by 
a movable frame or roof, called a hatch ; or in large craft by several 





hatches which are kept down hy small beams or rods called battens. 
(See Batten Down.) A hatchway is sometimes called a " scuttle," 
as the foreseuttle, which is the hatchway to a forecastle. (See 

Hatch money. — An allowance at one time given to captains for 
care of cargo. 

Haul (see Hale). — To pull upon a rope. But Falconer defines 
the term as pulling upon " a single rope without assistance of blocks 
or other mechanical powers upon it. " Thus to pull upon a warp 
hawser or spring by hand is to haul ; but if a turn be taken with the 
rope round a capstan or windlass it ceases to be hauling. 

A haul, in rope-making, is a large bundle of parallel yarns ready 
for tarring. In trawling it is the quantity of fish brought in in one 
lifting of the net. Hence the origin of the term in general conver- 

To haul the wind, in sailing, is to get close and keep close to the 
wind. (See Close-hauled.) 

To haul off. — To get closer to the wind so as to avoid some object. 
Haul forward. — The wind is said to haul forward when it lies 
before the beam. 

To haul sharp. — To keep men on half food allowance (old term). 
Haul under the chains. — When a ship's masts so strain on the 
shrouds that the pressure on the chains (or channels) causes her 
seams to open, she is said to haul under the chains. 

Haunch. — A sudden decrease in the size of a piece of timber. 
Haven. — A harbour of refuge. Smyth described it as a good 
anchorage rather than a place of perfect safety. Many of the smaller 
rivers of our coasts are called havens. 

Hawse. — The hawse, with regard to a ship's position at anchor, 
is, technically, that portion of the water in front of her which 
•extends from the ship herself to the point on the surface of the 
water directly above her 
anchor: — i.e., the horizon- 
tal distance of her cable ; 
and a vessel is said to cross 
the hawse of another when 
she passes athwart the 
latter's hawse, i.e. that space 
in the water ahead of her 
called the hawse. From 
this we have various names, 
as for instance, the hawse 
of the ship — that part of 
her Imjws in which are 
the hawse-holes ; through 
these the haivser, or cable, runs, and they are cut out in large 
timbers called hawse-pieces. 
Hawse-pipes are the short iron tubes lining these hawse-holes. 


Hawse-blocks, hawse plugs or bucklers are plugs for stopping the 
hawse-holes when the cable is unbent and the ship at sea; or in 
heavy weather : when in the form of stuffing they are called hawse- 

Hawse-clamp is an old-fashioned engine in the form of a heavy 
iron gripper or clamp, through which the hawser is passed, and 
which prevents it from veering out. 

A hawser, in the modern meaning, is a small cable, or in other 
words a thick rope used for holding a vessel to a quay or mooring, 
or for warping her along : it is, in fact, practically the same as a 
warp. The origin of the term has possibly some reference to the 
word " haul," for in old works we find it written haulier. 

Hawser-laid (in ropemaking) is the designation of a rope laid (or 
wound up) in the same manner as in a hawser, i.e., iu three or four 
strands. (See Rope.) 

Haivse fallen or hawse jail. — A ship is described thus when the 
seas break into her hawse. 

Burning in the hawse. — An old sea term, used when the cable 
endures an extraordinary stress. 

When a ship using hawsers to her anchors has two anchors out, 
and the cables are clear, it is said to be a clear hawse; when 
they become entangled in any way, it is a foul-hawse. The 
twists which may occur in cables by the swinging of a ship at 
anchor have been described as follow : — If the cables are once 
crossed, it is a cross haivse. When another cross occurs, it forms an 
elbnv. If a third should come about it is called a Round-turn. The 
act of disengaging this foul (which, should it come on to blow, may 
prevent cables from being veered of their friction against each other) 
is called clearing haivse, while the veering out, or slackening of the 
cable, whether to expose new surface to the friction in the hawse- 
hole, or to allow the vessel to ride more free, is described as 
freshening hawse. In modern times, since the use of chain-cables 
has become almost universal, even for the lightest craft, the above 
described twists and turns are no longer so liable to occur. Vessels 
which need to put out two anchors ahead for any length of time now 
often employ the system applied to the Lightships, the chains from 
all anchors of which meet at one point, where they are attached to a 
swivel, and joined by only one from the ship. By the working of this 
swivel the vessel may then swing with every tide, and freshen or 
shorten, without fear of " fouling -hawse." 

Haze. — A thin mist such as that which often overspreads the face 
of the ocean in summer and clears off as the sun mounts. A haze ik 
not so dense as a mist. It usually denotes coming heat. 

Head. — Generally speaking, the upper or larger end of any ob- 
ject ; but under the term are included a great number of meanings. 

A' head means forward or in front, in contradistinction to a' stem 
which is belrind or backward. 

The head of a ship. — The fore end of her. 



By the head, or down by the head, implies that the head is de- 
pressed, just as down by the stem or heel signifies that her stern is 

" Hoiv's her head?" is a question often asked with regard to her 

To box off her head is to force her head off from the wind. (See 
Boxing off.) 

To head a stream is to lie with the ship's head pointing against 
the stream as when she is tide-rode. 

A headland is a cape or promontory. 

A head-tide is sometimes spoken of when the tide is against the 

Headway. — Progress forward or a'head. A vessel when she 
cannot make progress is said to be unable to make headway. 

Head wind, or the ivind a'head, is a wind contrary to the desired 
course of the ship. She is head to ivind when her head is up in the 
wind, or, it may be, when she sails extremely close to the wind. 

In shipbuilding — 

Heads are the timbers (ribs) of a vessel, or the upper parts of 
them. They are either head timbers, that is, the uppermost 
futtocks, when the ribs are composed of several pieces, or 

Bent heads or bent timbers, in an open boat, in which each rib is 
fashioned out of only one piece of timber, this being bent to its 
required form by steaming. 

Head of the keel. — The forefoot ; the other extremity being the heel. 

Head knee or cheek knee. — The principal knee, or 
strengthening piece, fayed to the stem. 

Head ledges. — The thwartship (running across the 
ship) ledges, or planks on edge, which form the coam- 
ing of a hatchway. 

Head sheets (in an open boat). — The flooring boards 
in the bows, those covering the after floor being the 
stern sheets. (See diagram under Sheet.) 

Stem-head. — The upper portion of the stem post of 
a vessel. (For illustrations of these members sec 
diagrams under Frame.) 

In the rigging and fittings of a vessel — 

Head of the bowsprit is its forward end. 

Head of a dead-eye is the outer side of the flat 
surface, through which the holes are bored. 

Head or drum of a capstan is the flat upper 
portion which revolves. 

Headfast. — A rope fastened to the stem of a boat or 
ship. In an open ltoat it is called &])ainter (which see). 

Head lights are lights carried at the head. 

Headline is sometimes a rope from the head of a sail. 

Head of the mast, or mast head, is, roughly speak- 
ing, the top of a mast, but technically it means that 
part of a mast from the hounds upwards. (Sec fig.) 

i 2 





Head rope is the head portion of the bolt rope of a sail (ichieh see). 
Bead of a sail is its upper edge ; the lower being the foot. (See 

Head sails are the forward sails, as the jib and foresail. 
Head-stick.— & short stick fitted in the head of some jib-shaped 
sails to prevent the sail from twisting and the bolt-rope from 
kinking. It is very useful in boats. , (See fig., p. Ho.) 
Heart. — A peculiar type of dead-eye (which see). 
Heart or heart-yarn. — The inner yam in a strand of rope. 
Heave- — To pull on a rope or cable with mechanical aid, and 
therefore to be distinguished from " hauling. " (Sec Haul). To draw 
anything up. To throw anything. To come within view or sound. 

Heave a' head, or a'stern. — To draw a 
ship a'head or a'stern by an anchor, 
a warp, or otherwise. 

"Heave and away. 1 " "Heave and 
rally!" — Encouraging terms to men 
at a capstan or windlass. 

Heave and paid. — To turn the cap- 
stan until the pawl may be dropped. 

Heave and set. — To ride heavily while 
at anchor. 

"Heave Oh!" — An exclamation used 
by men all pulling together on a rope or 
anything else. Also a ciy in certain 
fishing towns, signifying that a shoal 
of fish has appeared. 

Heave short. — To bring a vessel 
directly above her anchor preparatory 
to weighing. (See fig.) 

Heave in sight. — To come within sight of another. 
Heave in stays. — To bring a vessel head to wind in tacking. The 
meaning of the term is explained under the heading Tack. 
Heave taut. — To pull or haul anything tight up. 
Heave the lead. — To throw the lead-bine, when sounding. (See 

Heave to. — To bring a vessel up head to wind, and so to dispose 
the sails that she makes no progress, when she is said to be " hove 
to," or " lying to." 

Heave up. — To draw or pull up, as to heave up the anchor or a 
fishing net. 

Hebbinff (very possibly the more correct term should be ebbing). — 
An old method of taking fish as they come down a river on the ebb 
tide. The apparatus employed was called a hcbbing weir, and was 
extended across, or partly across, the stream. There was at onetime 
a considerable fishery in the Upper Thames, both above and below 
bridge, for smelt and other salt and fresh water fish, the men 
employing themselves in this industry being called hebbemien 

Heaving Short. 


(ebb-men ?) ; and tbeir boats, called peter boats, may still be seen 
between Hammersmith and Richmond. But when the drainage of 
London was emptied into the Thames, the industry gradually 
declined, and eventually no fish could come into the upper reaches. 
Hebbing has therefore become obsolete ; but since the system of 
drainage has been improved, and the sewage no longer pollutes the 
water, the fish have gradually penetrated further up ; and it is not 
impossible that they may, in years to come, once more pass througL 
the city, and again give occasional employment to the hebberman. 

Heel. — Generally, the opposite to the 
head, as the after end of a ship's keel ; the 
lower end of any spar or timber. Thus the 
lower end of a topmast is its heel ; and the 
rope by which the mast is hauled up is the 
heel rope. A vessel is doivn by the heel when 
her heel or stern is depressed in the water 
(compare with "Down by the head,'' under 

To heel is to careen or lay her over. 
" They made the vessel heel, 
And lay upon her side ;" 
the heel, in sucli a case, is her inclination 
laterally. She also heels over, or "bends," under press of canvas. 

Heel-post, in some steamships, is a post which supports the end of 
the propeller shaft. 

Height (of a flag).— The perpendicular height, the length being 
called the fly. 

Height -staff or roe/ (in shipbuilding), a measuring staff for heights, 
as the half- breadth staff is for widths. 

Helm. — The helm is the steering apparatus of the ship, i.e., the 
rudder, with its operative part the tiller or handle (sometimes 
called the helmstock). To this mechanism large vessels haveaifAeeZ 
added, while in small open boats the place of the wheel is often taken 
by a yoke and yoke lines. Steering orders, as given on ship-board, 
refer (with very few exceptions) to the direction in which the tiller 
is to be thrust. Therefore the order to Port means, put the tiller 
over to port, the result of which "will, of course, be to send the 
vessel's head to starboard. (See Port and STARBOARD.) It must 
never lie supposed that such an order is intended to mean, put the 
vessel over to port ; for it has no direct reference to the vessel, but 
only to the tiller. In a vessel steered by a wheel, the chains or 
ropes by which the wheel works the tiller (for the tiller is, in 
theory, and often in fact, always there) are so arranged that by 
turning the wheel from right to left (that is, in a port ward 
direction) the tiller is pulled over to port. Thus though, in the 
mechanism of the steering apparatus, two distinct portions (the 
rudder and the tiller) are essential, to which, in large vessels, a third 
(the wheel) is added, we come to regard the tiller as the helm ; and 


this is why to PORT helm is to put the tiller a'port, that is towards 
the left side of the vessel, while to Starboard the helm, or put the 
helm a'starboard, is to put the tiller over to the right, or starboard 
side. With these few details clearly understood, the following 
terms, which have reference to the working of the helm in sailing 
operations, will be made clear. 

Helm up, helm dotvn. — If a beginner receive the order " Helm up !" 
the first question which will naturally present itself to his mind 
is, — " Up to what?" a very reasonable question to ask ; for if it is 
to go up it certainly must go up to something. And such reasoning 
will undoubtedly solve the difficulty, for nothing at sea is done 
without a reason. Now, there is in a boat propelled by the wind 
but one thing up to which the tiller could be put, viz. : the wind, 
the veiy raison d'etre of such a boat's existence. Helm up, then, 
must of necessity mean -up to the wind; and so, in fact, it does, 
for no matter what position a boat may be in, no matter what 
turns or twists from that position she may make, no matter 
whether it be light or dark, foggy or clear, whether the wind be 
ever so steady or shift from north to south and all round the compass 
again ; whatever the time or whatever the circumstances, a beginner 
need never be at a loss for the meaning of " helm up " : he has but 
to determine the direction of the wind (and if there be a doubt in 
his mind over that, the sail, which naturally stands away from it, 
will quickly dispel it) and up against it goes the tiller without a 
further thought. Yet, simple as it seems, it is astonishing how 
many mistakes are made by beginners over this important point ; 
and it must be confessed that to determine at a moment's notice 
the direction of the wind, when quite fresh to the practice of sailing, 
is not altogether an easy thing. Moreover, there are times when 
it appears difficult to determine at all which Avay " helm up " would 
mean ; as, for instance, when the tiller lies directly in the line of 
the wind, as it might if the boat be running sheer before it, or when 
lying head to wind. Here again then a little reasoning is useful. If a 
boat be sailing with a side wind and the sail stand over on the star- 
board side, from which side is the wind blowing ? Naturally, from the 
port side, and the boat is therefore on the port tack. For the same 
reason, then, if the boat be running before the wind with her sail still 
standing over on the starboard side, the wind must be or must have 
been blowing, however little, from the port side, and to thrust the 
tiller over to port is to put it up. The reader must take particular 
notice, however, that, in this instance, no such command as " helm 
up " would be given ; because, under the circumstances, to put the 
tiller up would be to cause the boom to gybe so suddenly and 
violently as (with any breeze) to carry something away. But the 
example is introduced to make him familiar with some of the conse- 
quences of " helm up " and " helm down. " In such a case the order 
would probably be Let her gybe, " upon which the tiller might be 
put slightly down, the sheet quickly gathered in, anil the boom 
allowed to go over as quietly as could be. (See Gybe.) But the 



order to " down helm " might reasonably be followed, for it would 
necessitate that the tiller be put over to starboard, by which the 
head of the boat would go to port, the sail remaining all the time 
on the same side. 

If, now, the boat be lying head to wind, how shall the meaning 
of " helm up " be determined '! It must depend upon the course to 
be taken. If a point on the starboard side is to be made, to get in 
that direction the tiller must, of course, be put over to port, which 
consequently will be putting it up ; for in a few moments the boat 
will be on the port-tack and standing for her point. 

The meaning of " helm up " having been mastered, that of " helm 
down," being precisely the opposite in all cases, is already under- 
stood, and we come to another phrase made occasional use of with 
reference to the tiller, viz., over or hard over. This command is 
most frequently heard in cases of emergency : it requires, therefore, 
to be promptly answered : and, fortunately, is not difficult to under- 
stand. To put the helm over is to shift it, that is, to bear the 
tiller over to the corresponding position on the opposite side of 
the vessel. Hard over is to do this with the utmost energy. (See 
under Hard.) 

The following are the various expressions having direct reference 
to the side to which the tiller must be put : — 

UP. — Keep her aioay, pay her off, no higher, no nearer, give 
her tveather helm, are terms equivalent to bear aioay, bear up; 
and all have the same meaning with regard to the tiller, viz. : 
helm up. 

DOWN.— Helm a'tec—Fut the helm to the lee side of the vessel, 
that is, away from the wind, and, therefore, down. 

Luff. — Put the vessel's head up towards the wind ; to do which 
the tiller must be pat away from the wind, and therefore down. 

Nothing off. — To keep a boat " nothing off " is to keep her head 
" right on," or up to, the wind. If she falls away the tiller must 
be put down, which will bring her head once more up. 

RIGHT. — Helm amidships, or right the helm. — Put the tiller or 
let it fall back in the same line as the keel. 

Weather helm and lee helm. — These are terms very difficult of 
explanation, experience being required to form a clear conception 
of their meaning. A vessel is said to carry a weather helm when 
— her tendency in sailing being to ran up into the wind — her helm 
must be kept constantly over to the weather side, or up. And she 
carries a lee helm when — her tendency being to fall away from the 
wind — her helm must be kept to leeward, or down. Thus it would 
appear that weather and lee helm are tendencies to run either up to 
the wind or away from it. Though some vessels have one tendency 
and some another, there may also be causes to aggravate these. 
For instance, if a vessel have too much weight astern, or if the after 
sails are too much for the head sails, she will have to be sailed on a 
weather helm, for her tendency will be to ran up into the wind ; 
wlrile if she be down by the head (having too much weight in her 


bows), or if the head sails more than counterbalance the after ones, 
they will carry her head away from the wind, and she will con- 
stantly require a lee-helm to keep her up. This is veiy well under- 
stood with respect to large vessels, and taken into due account in 
the stowing of cargo. For a sailing ship will be very narrowly 
watched throughout her first voyage, and if it be found that she 
carries too much weather helm, the great weight of cargo will, for 
her next trip, be stowed aft ; whereas if she requires a lee helm it 
will find its way forward. Sea-faring men approve of weather 
helm ; they like to feel that their vessel is ardent, or, in other 
words, that they have something to steer against. Amateurs, on 
the other hand, are often averse to it. Lee helm is not only ob- 
jectionable, but in certain cases it becomes positively dangerous ; 
for if, in a sudden squall, a boat cannot quickly be brought up head 
to wind, the consequences may be serious. 

Helmport. — A port is a hole ; and the helm port is the hole 
through which the head and stock of a rudder (or helm) passes when 
the vessel has a counter. 

Helmsman. — The man at the helm, that is, who steers the vessel. 

Helmstock. — Another word for the tiller {which see). 

Hermaphrodite briff. — The old name for the vessel we now 
call a brigantine. Being brig-rigged on the foremast and schooner- 
rigged on the main mast, it was also sometimes called a brig 
schoooner. (See under Beig.) 

Heron, (hern, hernshaiv). — A well-known water bird. The com- 
monest of the family Ardeidce. On the East Coast the name hern- 
shaiv is always used. But it is pronounced " hand-sor." Hence, 
without room for doubt, the explication of the much quoted 
Shakesperean line ("Hamlet") relating to the difference between 
" a hawk and a handsaw." 

High, (high and dry). — The situation of a vessel when, being 
aground, she is left there by the receding tide. 

The high seas. — The open sea ; that is beyond the three-mile limit 
—that being the distance within which nations claim the rights of 

High ivater. — The top of the tide ; the point of its highest rise ; 
the point of its lowest fall being called low water. 

High water inark. — The mark left by the tide along the coast 
when it recedes. It usually means the height to which the highest 
spring tides rise, and in England it is often marked in certain 
places by the Trinity House Corporation, this being called the 
Trinity high water mark. (See also Spring Tides.) 

Hike. — A slang expression — to move quickly ; as, " hike off," be 
off quickly. It may also mean to hand or swing something over ; 
as, " hike it over," i.e., "swing or hand it over." 

Hitch. — The name given to certain twists made with rope to 
form knots which may be very easily loosened. The principal 
liitches are the half-hitch, tioo-half -hitches, clove-hitch, magnus- 



hitch, timber - hitch, and blachioall - hitch (for the 
method of making all of which see under the heading 

To take a hitch is simply to take one turn in a 
rope, or, when applied to the belaying of a rope, to 
make a bight (bend) in the last turn, keeping the 
running end under so that it will not unwind {see 
fig.). This is the neatest manner of finishing a 

Hitcher. — Another word for a barge-pole, punt- 
ing-pole, quanting-pole, or boat-hook, called variously 
according to locality. (See under Pole. ) 

Hobbler. — A coastman of Kent; an unlicensed 
pilot ; one towing a vessel ; a watchman. 

Hog. — A stout broom, or brush, for scraping a 
boat's bottom. 

Hogging (at sea). — A dangerous thing with a ship, sometimes 
the result of her taking, or remaining too long on, the ground. It 
is a falling of her head and 


C r ^r 


stern, the consequence of 
some accidental weakness 
in her keel. A vessel 
which has hogged is either 
strengthened by a hog 
frame, a sort of huge truss, 
running fore and aft, or by 
a hog-chain, a chain acting 
as a tension rod, passing 
from stem to stern. It may 
be generally concluded, 
however, that a hogget! vessel is a wreck. 

Hoist. — To elevate, to haul aloft, with or Avithout the assist- 
ance of tackles. 

Hoist. — The perpendicular measurement of a sail or flag. Thus 
the height of a flag is its "hoist," the length being its fly ; and 
in bike manner the length of a sail, measured up along the foremost 
leech, is its hoist. So a flag may have a two-foot hoist, a fore- 
and-aft mainsail a hoist of 10 or 15 feet ; a fore-sail or a jib a six or 
eight foot hoist. 

Hold. — The inner space of a vessel in which the cargo is stowed. 

Hold beams. — In shipbuilding, beams traversing the hold of a 
vessel and supporting a lower deck, or hold-floor. (See Frame.) 

"Hold hard!" — Stop; desist: something equivalent to avast 
(which see). 

Hold a luff. — In sailing, to keep close to the wind ; to luff meaning 
to go close up to the wind. 

Hold a topmast.— A gaff topsail, unless kept close to its topmast 


l>y a lacing or jack stay, will be liable, except in a very light breeze, 
to blow from the mast, or in the language of fishermen it will not 
" hold the topmast." This is the case with big yard-topsails, 
which are unsuited, therefore, for working to windward in a breeze. 
Hold a wind, hold a good wind. — A vessel is said to hold a good 
wind when she has no tendency to fall off from the wind ; and one 
boat is said to " hold a better wind " than another when she sails 
closer to the wind than the other. 

''''Hold water!" In rowing, the same as "back water" {which 
see, under Back). The expression is uncommon. 

Holding on the slack. — Lazy. Doing little or nothing. 
Holly-stone- — A soft porous stone used in most ships for the 
purpose of nibbing or scouring the decks with sand every morning 
soon after day bight. A large flat piece is called a " bible," possibly 
because it is used by men kneeling ; and a small piece for getting 
into corners is a "prayer-book." 

Holsoni. — A term applied to a ship that rides without rolling 
or labouring. (See WHOLESOME.) 

Home. — The term is applied to anything close up, or in its place. 
It also implies the situation of a ship. When blocks are drawn 
together they are said to be " brought home." A square sail, when 
its clews are brought close down to the yard-arms of its lower yard, 
is said to be " hauled home." A bolt may be " driven home." A 
bale or cask in the cargo of a vessel, when stowed close up against 
another so that neither will shift, is described as " stowed home." 
Come home (of an anchor). — The anchor is said to " come home " 
when it drags — the ship being " home." 

Fall home or tumble home. — In shipbuilding, the inward inclination 
of the sides of a bulging ship after they leave the water bine. (See 
diagrams under Fall and Frame.) 

Sheeted home. — A sail hauled in as close as necessary is said to be 
" sheeted home." 

Hood. — A covering to a scuttle, companion, or the steering gear of 
a vessel. (See diagram under Deck.) In shipbuilding, the final 
plank of a complete strake is called a hood, and the end of this plank 
a hooding end. Hence in shipbuilding those ends of the planks which 
abut on the stem and stern posts are the hoods, or hooding ends. 

Hook. — The epithet hookedis frequently applied in shipbuilding to 
anything bent or incurvated, as the breast-hooks, fore-hooks, after- 
hooks, etc. A hook is, in fact, a strengthening knee supporting 
various members in a ship. In a rope, a loop spliced into the rope. 
Hook-block. — A block having a hook upon it. (See Block.) 
Hook-rope. — A rope used for such purposes as dragging a cable 
ashore when hauling a vessel up to a quay, etc. It is usually 
wliipped at one end anil furnished with a loop or hook at the other 
(whence its name). 

Hook and butt. — The scarfing or laying of the two ends of timbers 
over each other. 



Hooker. — An old name for a Dutch trading vessel. Also applied 
to an Irish fishing smack, and to a small Brixham fishing-boat. (See 

Hoop. — Usually a band round something. The rings on a mast 
to which the weather leech of a fore-and-aft sail are bent — some- 
times called hanks. {See Mast Hoors.) 

Hope. — " A small bay ; it was an early term for a valley and is 
still used in Kent for a brook, and gives name to the adjacent 
anchorages." Hence we have the "Upper and Lower Hope," the 
last reaches before the estuary of the Kiver Thames. 
Horn. — The arm of a cleat or kevel. The jaws of a gaff or boom. 
Horns of the rudder. — In certain ships, irons to which the rudder 
chains are attached. 

Horns of the tiller. — Also in ships, the bolts by which the chains 
are fixed to the rudder. 

Horn fisted. — Horny handed — i.e., having rough hands. 
Horn timbers. — Bracket or knee-shaped timbers affixed to the 
stempost of a boat for the support of the counter. 

Hornpipe. — The dance once popular among the sailors of the 
British navy, and still, to a small extent, performed at festive times. 
Barrington (" Arcbseologia," Vol. III.) considered the name of this 
dance to be derived from a musical instrument of wood, with homat each 
end, and formerly used in Wales, called pib-corn (Angl., hornpipe). 
Horse- — 1. In square rigged vessels, a rope for the support 
of a man. (A) — The rope running beneath a yard upon which the 
men stand while furling is a horse, and is attached to the yard 
by short ropes called stirrups. (See fig. 1.) The outer portion of the 
horse is called the flemish-horse. (B) — A 
rope stretched from the cap of a bowsprit or 
jib-boom to the knight-heads for the safety 
of men working on the bowsprit. (C) — A 
breast-rope over which a man may lean, 
while heaving the lead. 

2. In fore-and-aft rig, an iron bar or rail, 
running athwart a deck, or the stem of a 
boat, upon which a sheet-tackle travels. 
(See fig. 2.) Many yachts, and even open 
boats, are fitted with a horse for the main 
sheet block ; and in fishing craft we often 
find one forward of the mast upon which 
the foresail travels, obviating the neces- 
sity for fore-sheets. In this latter case the 
leech of the foresail carries a pendant 
(hanging rope) by means of whicli the sail, 
when it has travelled over the horse, is held fast to the shrouds. 
A foresail thus manipulated is called a " working foresail." 

Horse-shoe clamp. — In ship-building, an iron strop or clamp 
gripping the forefoot of the keel. 

Fig. 2. 



Horse-shoe rack. — In ships, a curved rack carrying 
small blocks used in connection with the running gear. 

Horsing iron. — In ship-building, a caulker's chisel 
used for caulking a ship's seams with oakum. 

To horse up. — To " harden in " the oakum caulk- 
ing in a vessel's seams. i*i 

Irish horse. — Salt beef ; and presupposed to be of Hounds 
a certain good age. There is an old verse in con- 
nection with the term, as follows : — 

" Salt horse, salt horse, what brought you here? 
You've carried turf for many a year. 
From Dublin quay to Ballyack 
You've carried turf upon your back. " 

This has been called "the sailor's address to his 
salt beef." 

Host men. — "An ancient guild or fraternity 
at Newcastle, to whom we are indebted for the 
valuable sea-coal trade. " (Smyth.) 

Hot coppers. — A parched mouth the morning 
after drinking heavily, especially of bad spirit. 

Hounds. — 1. Those projections at the lower 
part of a mast-head which carry the trestle-trees, 
shrouds, stays, etc. {See fig.) They are often con- 
founded with the cheeks. The difference is arbitraiy. 
On large masts such as those of sailing ships, they 
are usually called the hounds ; in small vessels the 
cheeks. Hence either term may be equally properly 
used. The hounds are also sometimes called the 
bibbs. In old works they are described as the holes 
in the cheeks of the mast. The jaws of a gaff or boom 
are occasionally called its hounds. 

Hounding. — That por- 
tion of a mast below the 
hounds ; or, in other words, 
between the deck and the 
hounds. ((See fig.) 

House flag.— A square 
flag displaying the device 
and colours adopted by any 
mercantile shipping com- 
pany. It is used as a signal 
in port or to pilots, pier- 
masters, etc., and also when 
meeting other vessels. Fig. 1 
shows its position when flying, and fig. 2 indicates the colours 
adopted by the P. and O. and Orient lines. 

Housing. — 1. The housing of a mast is that portion below the 
deck ; it is usually square so as to fit inside the mast-case. 


^pl^^^rC**-— "S^^"--,'" 

Fig. 1.— Position of Flag when Flying. 



oRifNT nut 

(See diagram under HOUNDS.) 2. The housing 
of a bowsprit is that part of it which lies 
inboard (within the knight-heads). 

A housing (house-line) is also a small rope used 
for seizings (i.e., binding-up). 

To put a vessel under cover, for laying up, 
is sometimes called housing her. 

To house a mast or spar is to take it down, 
or strike it. Thus a topmast lowered and 
secured to the lower mast, as so often seen in 
small craft during winter — is said to be housed. 
The housing of spars in a gale is a very im- 
portant piece of seamanship, for every sailor 
knows how much wind they may hold. Indeed Fig. 2. — House-flags 
so much is this the case that the act of (page 124). 

scudding under bare poles — i.e., running before the wind without 
a single sail set, is by no means an uncommon practice, and may 
even be done when a gale is no more than moderate. Jn such 
vessels as yachts the housing of spars is sometimes, though, of 
course, on a lesser scale, equally necessary ; and even in open boats 
it may occasionally be well to take down the mast and any other 
spars which may project outboard, in order that the boat may be 
buried as little as possible in a heavy rolling sea. 

Hove. — "Heave" in the past tense. Thus we may say "we 
hove to during the squall. " But the word is as frequently used in 
the present tense, as " she is hove to ; " " she is hove in stays," etc. 

Hovellers. — 1. At the Cinque Ports, a name for pilots. 2. 
As an old term it means those who range the seas around the coast 
in the chance of falling in with ships in distress. 

Howker, or hooker. — "A Dutch vessel commonly navigated 
with two masts — viz. , a main and a mizzen mast, and being from 
sixty to two hundred tons burden. It is also the name of a fishing 
boat used on the southern coast of Ireland and carrying only one 
mast." (Falconer.) On our coasts the howkers go by the more 
familiar name of " Dutchmen." 

Hoy. — A hoy, before the era of steam vessels, was a boat acting 
somewhat in the same manner as do tenders to-day ; they carried 
goods and passengers to and from the larger vessels ; but they also 
coasted. At the present time the term is still in use for a species of 
lighter ; and those who own these lighters or unload vessels call 
themselves (though improperly) hoymen. 

Hug. — To keep close to in sailing, as to hug the shore, to hug 
the wind, etc. 

Hull, or hulk. — The hull is the body of a vessel, exclusive 
of her masts, etc. The word hulk is more generally applied 
to old vessels, or at least to those that are not sent to sea. The 
better ones were, and still are, made use of in various Mays : 
they become hospitals, storage or guardships under Government, 


or watch-boats, store houses, etc., with private individuals. At 
Leigh, on the Thames, the hull of an old vessel has been turned into 
a yacht club house ; while in a village on the Suffolk coast half the 
cottages are formed of the inverted hulks of old fishing craft, 
precisely like that one in which David Copperfield made his first 
accpiaintance with the domestic arrangements of the Peggotty family. 
Certain hulls are fitted with sheers (cranes) for dockyard or other 
engineering work, and are called sheer hulks. But this latter term 
is often understood to mean nothing more than the mere remnant of 
a ship, as in Dibdin's song : — 

" Here a sheer hulk lies poor Tom Bowling, 
The darling of our crew. " 

It is important to those uninitiated in shipping matters to know 
that in ordering sailing craft to be built, prices are quoted for the 
hull only, unless otherwise stipulated. It is general now, however, 
to put masts and spars into yachts. 

Hulling or trying. — Lying in wait, in a heavy sea, without sail. 
(See also Trying.) "The situation of a ship when she is trying 
a'hull or with all her sails furled, as in trying." (Falconer.) 

Huniber keel. — A clincher built trading vessel, usually bluff 
bow and stern, sailing out of the River Huniber. 

Hung up. — Sometimes to be " hung up " means to be left ashore 
or without occupation. 

Hung vp in the wind. — When a vessel has been brought head to 
wind, in sailing, but refuses to go about, she is said to become " hung 
up in the wind," or to be " in irons." {See In Irons and Tack.) 

Hurricane. — A violent storm, distinguished by the vehemence 
and sudden changes of the wind. 

Hurriixme deck. — In large steam boats, a light upper deck extend- 
ing across the vessel amidships, usually for the officer in command. 
(See Deck.) 

Hurry. — Another word for staith (which see). 

Hurtle.— To send bodily along on a heavy sea or swell. 

Husbaud. — Ship's husband. — A sort of marling spike or pin 
for various purposes. Of the man called ship's husband in old days 
Falconer gives the following : " Ship's husband (among merchants), 
the person who takes the direction and management of a ship's con- 
cerns upon himself, the owners paying him a commission for his 
trouble. " 


Idlers. — On shipboard, those who, being liable to constant duty 
by day, are not subjected to keep the night watches ; such are the 
carpenter, sail maker, etc. But they have to come up with the rest 
of the crew when " all hands " are called. 

In. — Inboard. — Within the ship, in contradistinction to outboard, 
which is without her ; the board being the side of a vessel. Thus 
a bowsprit which projects outboard may be reeved (drawn) inboard. 


So also, that portion of an oar or skull which is within the boat 
when used in the act of rowing lies inboard. 

In-haul. — A rope or purchase for rigging -in, that is for drawing 
in a spar or sail, just as an outhaul is for rigging it out. Thus, in a 
cutter yacht, the jib, which is set flying (that is, not on a stay), 
is hauled out along the bowsprit by an outhaul, and brought in by 
an inhaul. (See diagram under Jib.) 

Inner post. — In shipbuilding, a timber upon which one of the 
transoms is usually fixed. 

Inner turns. — (See Outer Turns.) 

Inshcyre. — By the shore, towards the shore, as " Let us get in- 
shore," that is " Let us get nearer to the shore." 

Inrigged. — Rigged or fitted within or on the side of a boat. The row- 
locks of row-boats are either inrigged or outriggcd, the former when on 
the gunwale, as in the ordinary way, the latter when extended on 
light iron brackets as for racing purposes. (See diagram under Rio. ) 

In the eve of the iritid. — In sailing, a vessel making progress at an 
acute angle with, or, in other words, very close to, the wind is said 
to be " in the eye of the wind." 

Intermittent light. — A fixed light suddenly eclipsed and as 
suddenly revealed. (See Lights.) 

International. — International law. — An important branch of 
the law of nations. 

International code (of signals). — The code of signalling adopted 
by England, America, France, Germany, Russia, Austria, Spain, 
Portugal, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Italy, Greece, and Brazil, 
for commercial purposes, in both the naval ami mercantile marines. 
The "International Code of Signals (Universal Series)," issued by 
the Admiralty and Board of Trade, and published annually, price 
12s., contains a list of the International Code with instructions 
to masters as to signalling, besides other useful matter. (For a 
description of the flags and other symbols with which the code is 
used, see under the heading Signals.) 

Inwale.— {See Wale.) 

Irish pennants. — Rope yams or any fagged old rope ends 
hanging about the rigging of a vessel. The term is used as one of 
opprobrium. .- 

Iron. — Anything made of iron may be called " an iron," as boom 
iron, end irons, etc. 

In irons. 1. A punishment on shipboard ; the old term for hand- 
cuffed or chained up. 2. (In sailing). — If a vessel miss-stays in 
tacking ami cannot be cast one way or the other, she is said to be 
" in irons," or " hung up in the wind." (See TACK.) 

Iron-byund shore. — A dangerous and rocky part of the coast. 

Ironclad. — The name often given to a vessel of war, because she 
is clad in iron or steel. 

Iron-sick. — A term signifying the state of an old vessel when her 
iron work becomes loose in her timbers ; and it may also be applied 



to the condition of a "composite vessel when her iron fastenings 
become rotten through the galvanic action which arises between 
them and the copper sheathing." (See COMPOSITE.) 

Preservation of iron. — Iron is found to be so liable to rust on 
exposure to the salt air of the sea 
that various plans have to be em- 
ployed in preserving it. The most 
effective of these methods is galvan- 
ising. Immersion while hot in boiling 
oil also preserves the surface, while 
the simplest method is to paint it. 
In yachts, in the fitting out of which 
expense is not considered, brass or 
gun-metal takes the place of iron 
wherever possible. 

Jack. — The term "jack" is ap- 
plied somewhat indiscriminately by 
sea-faring men to various spars, 
sails, ropes, etc. It would appear, 
speaking generally, to mean some- 
thing small. 

Jack (in flags). — " Something 
shown, a signal." (Brande and Cox.) 
In this sense the word jack has here 
been kept distinct from Union Jack, 
because the jack being a flag used 
as a signal, any nation may have 
one ; and, indeed, every nation has 
(me, and uses it whenever occasion 
renders it necessaiy. The mercantile 
jack of England is the union (which 
see), enclosed in a border of white, 
one-fifth the width of the flag, and 
this method of enclosing the national 
colours is very usual with foreign 
countries, though by no means uni- 
versal. When signalling for a pilot 
the jack is hoisted at the fore (i.e., 
at the head of the fore -mast), or in 
single-masted craft at the head of 
the mast, and kept flying ; and it is by the colours of the jack 
that the nationality of the vessel is known : or instead of the jack 
the flags P.T., of the international code of signals, may be hoisted. 
But, speaking roughly, as flags cannot always be deciphered at 
a great distance, almost any colours hoisted at the fore will be 
understood to mean that a pilot is required. The pilot's answer 
to the signal is a red and white flag (divided longways). 

Jack-block. — A block sometimes used in sending up a top mast. 


Jack cross-trees. — 1. In a ship, single iron cross-trees at the head 
of long top-gallant masts, for the support of royal or sky sail masts. 
2. In fore-and-aft rigged craft, iron cross-trees which fold up, so as 
to admit of a mast being lowered. They are often seen in topsail 
barges, the masts of which have to be lowered in passing under 
bridges. (See fig. ) 

Jack in the basket. — A name given by fishermen to a basket placed 
on a beacon for marking a shoal or channel. 

Jack-ladder. — A ladder furnished with side ropes for holding on by. 

Jack-pin. — A belaying pin in a fiferail, when it is also called a 
sack pin. 

Jack quarter deck. — The same as the top gallant forecastle. (See 
diagram under Deck.) 

Jack-staff. — A flag pole for flying the Union Jack. 

Jack stay. — 1. A stay acting also as a traveller. 2. A thin rope 
used to hold the luffoi a gaff top-sail to its mast : it is rove through 
a cringle about midway down the luff of the sail, and passing 
through a sheave or grommet on the mast, is then brought down 
on deck and belayed. The jack stay may, therefore, take the place 
of the lacing of a jib-headed topsail to its mast. (See fig.) 

Jack topsail (sometimes called a jacket or donkey topsail). — 
A fore-and-aft topsail bent (i.e., attached) to a jack yard, which 
carries the sail up above the head of the mast. This sail is a little 
awkward to manipulate, but it has a certain advantage in light 
winds, in that it reaches higher than do most other topsails ; and as 
it may be set on a pole mast, it is frequently applied to small boats, 
and hoisted above a balance lug sail. (See fig., also under Topsails.) 

Jack yard. — Generally speaking, a yard or pole which extends 
either the head or the foot of a topsail beyond some other spar. 
Applied to the head of a jack topsail, it stands, when set, in a 
vertical position, cariying the head of the sail up beyond the head 
of the mast, and is kept in this situation by hauling down the foot 
of the yard, which, in this case, secures the tack of the sail. 
Applied to the foot of a topsail the jack yard carries it out beyond 
the peak. (See fig.) In ships we find a cross-jack yard (pro- 
nounced "crojeck " or " crutched " yard), which is the lowest yard 
on the mizzen mast. It is always hung ; not hoisted with halyards. 

Jack-ass rig. — The name sometimes given to the ordinary 
form of three-masted schooner 
which sets square topsails on 
the foremast. It is possible 
that this name has been 
given to distinguish the rig 
from that which may, in 
this instance, be called the 
true three-masted schooner ; 
the latter sets no square sail-, V ^5^2SSM^ - 
but is a much less common 
rig. (See SCHOONER.) 

& Jack-ass Rig. 


Jacket. — 1. A double or outer coat, in the planking of a vessel. 
2. The jack topsail of a fore-and-aft rigged boat is sometimes called 
the jacket. 

Jackettiiig. — A scolding. Sometimes an infliction of the rope 

Life jacket. — (See under Life.) 

Jacob's ladder. — A rope ladder having wooden rounds. 

Jaws. — The horns at the end of a boom or gaff . (See Gaff.) 

Jaw-rope. — A rope passed through and across the jaws of a gaff, 
to hold the spar to the mast. It is generally threaded through 
wooden beads or trucks to prevent jamming, and thus becomes a 
parrel (which see). 

Jears. — Tackles by which the lower yards of a ship are swayed 
or struck (i.e., hoisted or lowered). 

Jetsam (in law). — Goods cast from a ship and sunk, in contra- 
distinction to flotsam and lagan (both of which see). 

Jettison (in law) (evidently from the French jettez-en). — To 
jettison is to cast goods overboard, whether to lighten or get a 
vessel upon an even keel when aground, and thus aid in floating 
her again, or — on the high seas 
— that she may ride more easily 
when in distress. 

Jetty. — A small pier or landing 
place. (See fig.) 

Jewel block. — In square rig, 
a block at a yard arm for the 
halyard of a studding sail. (See Jetty. 

diagram under Block.) 

Jib. — One of the head sails in a sailing vessel — triangular in 
shape. In large vessels it is bent to a stay, called the jib-stay, 
which extends from the fore-top-mast head to the end of t\iejib- 
boom ; but in small craft generally it is set, either standing or flying 
(according to the rig of the boat), between the lower mast head and 
the end of the bowsprit. In the cutter and yawl, both of which 
have reeving bowsprits, the jib is set flying ; in the sloop, which has 
a fixed bowsprit, it is set standing, on the jib-stay, and usually ex- 
tends aft almost to the mast, thereby doing away with the fore-sail. 
In either case it is the most forward of all the sails. The jib, not- 
withstanding the fact that it is small and stands out-board, is a very 
important agent in sailing. It steadies the boat in her course, helps 
her round when she is put about, prevents her running suddenly up 
into the wind, and acts as a good guide to the helmsman, when 
sailing in the eye of the wind, for by its tendency to chaffer (or 
shiver) it tells him when he is sailing too close. Its virtue hies 
in its position as the foremost of all the sails, and on this account 
we have the following rule for working jib and foresail: When a 
vessel is going about, the jib acts before the foresail, but its power 
is soon expended. It is, therefore, brought over first (as soon as its 



effort is seen to be finished) and sheeted home, while the foresail, 
by laying aback, completes the work of bringing the vessel's head 
round. This is an operation which requires nice judgment and some 
little experience. The mistake of bringing the head sails over too 
soon is particularly to be avoided : it may almost be said, indeed, 
that it is better to be too slow than too quick, though much, of 
course, must depend upon the general behaviour of the craft. 

Jibs, in seagoing craft, are of vaiious sizes, to suit all weathers. 
A large jib will tend in a 


•■i.MiidU Jil> 
3. Flying Jit 
4-Jifc -boom 
j.FLyinj Jtt-lroom 

breeze to buiy a boat's head ; 
and some boats are incapable 
of standing a large one at 
any time. In the latter case 
the sail is sometimes cut 
obliquely at the foot, so as 
to run upwards from the 
bowsprit, and this has been 
found to lift the boat better. 
Occasionally the head is cut 
square and fitted with a small 
batten called a head-stick ; 
this acts well where the bolt 
rope of the sail tends to kink. 

Besides the jib in common 
use, we have the following : 

Balloon jib. — A racing sail 
of enormous size, extending 
from the topmast head to the 
bowsprit head. Sometimes 
the spinnaker is carried for- 
ward as a balloon jib in racing. 
(See Balloon Canvas.) 

Flying ib. — A jib set out 
on a jib-boom ahead of the 
jib. It is used on schooner 
yachts and trading vessels. 
(See fig.) 

Inner jib. — In ships, the jib next the fore-stay sail. 

Jib of jibs (only in large ships). — "A sixth jib," only known to 
flying-kite men. 

Jib topsail. — A jib running on the topmast stay in a cutter or 
yawl, and set above the other head sails. In these boats it has 
sometimes been called the flying jib, though this is hardly a 
correct name, as that sail belongs to schooners and other large 

Middle jib. — A jib belonging to schooners and large trading 
vessels. It is set flying from the foretop mast or the fore top- 
gallant mast to the end of the jib-boom. (See fig.) 

Spitfire. — A name given to a very small jib used in boats ; reallv a 

K 2 


sort of trysail, answering the same purpose as the storm jib — i. e., for 
use only in dirty weather, or to keep steerage way on a boat. (See fig. ) 

Standing jib. — A jib set standing {which see). 

Storm jib. — One for bad weather or winter use ; it is made of 
stout canvas, and often, even for yachts, tanned. {See fig.) 

Jib-headed sail. — A sail the shape of a jib — i.e., one pointed at the 
head. Such is the jib-headed topsail. (See TOPSAIL.) 

The following spars and ropes refer also to jibs : 

Jib-boom. — A spar running out beyond the bowsprit to carry a 
flying jib. {See fig.) 

Flying jib-boom.— A boom run out beyond the jib-boom for the 
flying jibs. (See fig. ) 

Jib down-haul, or in- haul ; Jib out-haul. — The ropes by which the 
jib is hauled out or in along the bowsprit. Both are attached to the 
traveller : the out-haul runs through a sheave at the bowsprit 
head and then inboard ; the down-haul, or in-haul, comes from the 
traveller directly inboard. (See fig.) 

Jib guys. — (Only in large vessels.) Stays supporting a foremast 
against the pressure of jibs. 

Jib halyard. — The halyard which elevates the jib. In large 
vessels it is often of chain, and is provided with a rope purchase on 
one side, the chain belaying on the other. In fore-and-aft rigged 
craft, such as yachts, smacks, etc., this rope takes its origin near 
the mast head : it runs downwards and through a movable block, 
after which it goes upward again through a fixed block on the mast, 
and thence down to the deck, where, in small craft, it belays, usually 
on the port side of the mast. When the jib is to be set, its tack is 
shackled to a traveller (an iron ring) which runs it out on the bow- 
sprit ; and its head to the lower block of the halyard, after which it 
is hauled up taut. In a sloop, the bowsprit being a fixture, and the 
forestay made fast to its end, the jib runs up the forestay on 
hanks ; but in a cutter or a yawl, the forestay being carried only to 
the stem-head, the jib is set flying, and the jib halyards then act as 
a great stay to the bowsprit — more so, indeed, than does the top- 
mast forestay. They must, therefore, be swigged up very taut when 
sail is made, as this helps to strengthen the bowsprit. 

Jib-iron. — Commonly called the traveller. An iron ring running 
on the bowsprit, for setting the jib. 

Jib sheets. — The ropes which work the jib. They are usually 
composed of one rope doubled half-way, and fastened at the 
bight (or bend) to the clew of the sail ; and eacli part is brought 
down on either side of the forestay, and through fairleads, to be 
belayed, either amidships, or (in boats) within reach of the helms- 
man. In small craft the jib sheets are usually distinguished from 
the fore-sheets by being thicker, and by being belayed aft of the 
fore-sheets. A stopper knot should be made at the end of each jib 
sheet when it is rove through its fairleads, to prevent their being 
jerked away. A figure-of-eight knot answers this purpose well, 
and is easily made. (See Knots.) 


Jib-stay. — A stay upon which a jib is set. In fore-and-aft rig it 
is peculiar to the sloop, being run out to the head of the fixed bow- 
sprit, and taking the place of the forestay of a cutter in supporting 
the mast. This arrangement constitutes the difference between 
cutter and sloop rig (both of which see). In the cutter, however, 
we also find that which is sometimes called the jib-stay, though, 
so far as the staying of any spars is concerned, it is no stay at all, 
and is more correctly called the jib out-haul, its office being to 
haul out the jib along the bowsprit ; and to effect this it is usually 
connected with a traveller, or ring on the bowsprit. Being attached 
to this traveller, it is passed through a sheave at the bowsprit end 
and then brought in and belayed either by the bowsprit bitts or 
by the mast. When the jib is to be set it is shackled on to the 
traveller, and, being hauled about half-way up the mast, is then 
run out by the jib-stay, which is then belayed, while the jib-halyard 
is set up and swigged upon. 

Jigger. — Usually a small spar, or an extra mast. A bumpkin 
is often spoken of as a jigger ox jigger-boom. (See diagram under 
BOOM.) The small mast in certain barges, fitted to, and the 
sail of which works with, the rudder, is sometimes called the 
jigger. So also any very small mast and sail (though usually one 
working with the rudder) may be called by the same name : for 
which latter reason we occasionally hear a fishing boat, carrying 
such a mast and sail, but otherwise sloop-rigged, called a jigger, or 
jigger-rigged. The fourth mast in a four-masted ship is the jigger- 
mast. (See under Mast.) 

Jigger block. — A tail block (See Block) or a block to clap on to a 

Jigger tackle. — A small tackle on a halyard or some other rope, 
to increase the purchase. Also, a tackle holding a cable taut as it 
leaves a capstan. It consists usually of no more than a single and 
a double block. 

Joggled timbers, joggle frame. — When the heads, or 
timbers (ribs), of a boat are shaped, in the manner shown in the 
figure under Build, so as to receive the strakes of a clincher built 
boat, they are said to he joggled, and to form a, joggle frame. 

John Dory (Jaune Dor6, Fr.). — A well-known fish. John 
Dore was a notorious French pirate. 

Johnnie. — The old naval term for a " bluejacket." The 
seamen were called the johnnies and the marines jollies ; and both 
these names, but more especially the former, have come into 
general use in familiar conversation. 

Join. — To join a ship is to go to and enter upon one's duty in 

Jolly. — The name given to a marine, just as a bluejacket is 
called a Johnnie. The marines were called the "jolly marines," 
and hence, the " jollies." 



Jolly boat. — 1. In the Royal and Mercantile Navies, a small boat 
used for marketing, landing inferior persons, etc. Some have in 
recent years been fitted with engines. 2. In yachting, a boat, 
corresponding to the dinghy. 

Jolly jumper. — In old full rigged ships, sails set above the moon- 
rakers, thus making seven square sails on a mast — viz., (1) main; 
(2) maintop ; (3) top-gallant ; (4) royal ; (5) sky sail ; (6) moon- 
raker ; (7) jumper. But they were always very rare, and only set 
by the most inveterate of flying kite men. (See also Light Sails.) 

Jump, — To make a jump joint with two planks or plates of iron 
is to put them together (end to end or side to side) in such a manner 
that they will present a smooth surface. Hence in shipbuilding it 
is equivalent to carvel building (see Build) ; and when an iron 
vessel is so built she is said to be jump jointed or jump printed. 

Jumper. — A square sail set, on very rare occasions, on certain of 
the old full-rigged ships : it formed a seventh square sail on each 
mast (see Light Sails.) 

Jumper stay. — A familiar name for the stay called triatic (which 
see), and often seen in schooners. It runs from the mast head of 
the main to the fore, and, therefore, takes the place of the main stay. 

Junk. — 1. A ship common in China and Japan. 2. On ship- 
board junks are old ropes which by long usage and saturation in 
salt water have become hard and stiff. 3. Salt meat which has 
become hard from long keeping is also called junk, because it is said 
to resemble the old pieces of rope in its texture. 

Jury. — The word, as used at sea, implies a substitute. Hence, 
jury mast, a temporary mast, 
either erected in a new vessel to 
take her where she is to be 
masted, or one taking the place 
of a permanent mast carried 
away, or one employed where it 
is impossible to elevate the per- 
manent mast. Barges navi- 
gating rivers over which bridges 
are numerous and low, use jury 
masts habitually ; they may be seen daily on the London river, 
between bridges. (See fig.) 

Jury rudder. — A temporary or substitute rudder, or any 
apparatus enabling a vessel to be steered when her rudder may 
have been carried away. 


Eat. — An old timber vessel. 

Heckling, or cackling. — In the days of hempen cables, wind- 
ing old rope alxmt a cable — or the winding of iron chain round it 
to prevent chafing. It was done " spirally (in opposition to round- 
ing, which is close) with three incli old rope, to protect it from 
chafing in the hawse holes." (Smyth.) 


Kedge (Old English, brisk). — A small anchor carried hy large 
vessels for use in shallow water, or for keeping the main anchor 
clear. (See ANCHOR.) The smaller anchors carried hy yachts may 
also be called kedges. 

Kedging, or kedge hauling. — Working a vessel against tide, or in a 
narrow channel by means of kedges. It is otherwise called warping 
(which see). 

Keel. — The word keel " seems originally to have signified an 
entire ship ; for we read that the Saxons invaded England in caels, 
ceols, or cynlis (i.e. , keels), and in early times a fleet was des- 
cribed as so many keels. This signification partly lives in keelage, 
which is a duty levied on vessels entering certain ports. " The coal- 
carrying barges of the Tyne are also still called keels. The keel is 
the principal timber in any vessel, resembling the backbone of the 
human frame, while the side timbers constitute her ribs. It is the 
foundation of the entire structure, and must be of the best material. 
In small centreboard craft the keel must be sufficiently stout to 
allow of a slit being cut through it to admit the board. In boats 
the keel and garboards are sometimes of one piece. (See Frame.) 

False keel. — This is a lower piece added to the main keel, usually 
for the purpose of giving greater depth and weight. It may be of 
iron or lead ; and is either bolted through the keel or, where this 
cannot be done, secured by plates to the garboard strakes. In large 
vessels it is composed of two pieces called "upper" and " lower;" 
it is a great protection to the keel, and is occasionally attached to 
it in sucli a manner that, in serious cases of grounding, it may come 
off, leaving the main keel uninjured ; such cases are said to have 
actually occurred. 

Keelson (pronounced, and sometimes written, kelson). — An 
addition to the keel inside the boat. It rests upon the keel and is 
an indispensable member, taking the stepping of the mast. It 
also serves to secure the feet of the timbers (ribs) on each side 
of it. In large vessels we find, in addition to this : 

Sister keelsons, or side keelsons, which keep the feet of the timbers 
in their places ; also a keelson rider — an additional tinjber laid 
along and above the keelson in large vessels to take the weight 
of the masts and distribute it along the keelson, as that does 
along the keel : it is sometimes called the false keelson. 

The keel band, usually called the stem band, is a band of iron 
helping to bind the head of the keel and the stempost together. 
In doing this it assists the deadwood ; and it further acts as a 
stout protection to the head of the keel. For illustrations of these 
parts see diagrams under FRAME.) 

Keel hauling. — An obsolete punishment once apparently practised 
in the Dutch navy. The culprit was hauled up to the yard arm, 
weights being attached to his feet, and being suddenly let fall, was 
dragged by ropes under the keel of the vessel and up to the opppsite 
yard arm. This was repeated a certain number of times according 
to orders. 


Keel rope (in ships). — " A rope running between the keelson and 
the keel of a ship, to clear the limber holes when they are choked 
up with ballast, etc." 

Even keel and uneven keel. — Terms used in expressing the 
manner in which a boat floats. If she balances evenly in a fore-and- 
aft direction she is on an even 


keel. If she is depressed either 
by the head or by the stern she 
is on an uneven keel (see fig.). 

But the same terms are often, 

though not correctly, used ■" \ ,S 

(especially among rowing men) V uneven *ffi .-■ — -^""\ 

in reference to her trim gener- 
ally ; so that if she lies over on one side they still say she is on an 
uneven keel. And of a sculler who keeps his boat very level, 
laterally, they are apt to say that he keeps it on an even keel. 

Keel-deeters. — Women who clean out the Northumbrian keels for 
the sake of the sweepings of small coal. 

Keeler. — A small tub. 

Keeling. — A name in the North Sea Fisheries for the common cod. 

Keep. — "Keep her away !" — An order to a helmsman to keep a 
vessel's head more off, that is to keep her more before the wind. 

" Keep your luff!" — Keep the vessel close to the wind (see Luff). 

" Keep full for stays /" — Keep the sails full preparatory to putting 
the vessel about (see Tacking). 

" Keep the land a'board!" — Keep as near the land as may be safe. 

Kelds. — The still parts of a river which have an oily smooth- 
ness while the rest of the water is ruffled. 

Kellagh. — Another name for killiek. It once meant a wooden 
anchor weighted with stone. 

Kelp. — The ash of sea weed, used in the manufacture of iodine. 

Kelpie. — A sea bogey or spirit, which haunts the fiords of 
Northern Britain. 

Kelter. — This word has a meaning somewhat akin to the term 
" fettle," as used by horsemen. A vessel is said to be in fine kelter 
when she is well ordered and well found, and ready for sea ; or 
when, in fact, she is in " good fettle." 

Kempstock. — An old name for a capstan. 

Kennets. — Large cleats or kevels [which see). 

Kentledge. — A term signifying "pigs," or shaped pieces of 
iron, as ballast, laid fore-and-aft near the keelson or in the limbers 
of a vessel, and therefore sometimes called limber -kentledge. The 
term may also mean goods used in lieu of ballast, these being called 
kentledge goods. 

Kerf. — The sawn away slit in any piece of timber. 

Kersey. — "A coarse stuff used on many occasions in a ship, such 
as in boxing of the stem, and lining the ports, for the purpose of ex- 
cluding the water, also to cover the main ropes, etc." (Falconer.) 



Kervel.— (See Cleat.) . , 

Ketch.-A trading vessel with two masts, main and mizzen. 

Various Ketches. 


Both these masts are fore-and-aft rigged, the mizzen with or with- 
out a topsail ; and there is, in addition, often a large lower square 
sail set on the main mast. The ketch is, in fact, of all our coast- 
ing traders, perhaps the most capable of variety in its rig. It may 
set one, two, or even three square sails on the mainmast ; as many 
as four head sails ; and one, or even two staysails between masts. 
These features distinguish it from the yawl (which see. ) 

Within a recent period the ketch threatened to become somewhat 
rare. But of late years it has been greatly revived in the coasting 
trade, and many new vessels of this class have been built, especially 
upon the East Coast. 

It is said that the ketch was once a common rig for yachts : and 
it may still be met with on rare occasions, Lord Dunraven owning 
one which is occasionally raced. 

Kettle. — Kettle bottomed vessel. — One with flat floor and bulging 
sides ; resembling, in fact, the form of a kettle. 

" A fine kettle offish !" — " Here's a nice mess to be in !" 

Kevel. — A cleat (ivhich see). 

Kevel heads. — The ends of the top timbers (ribs) of a vessel which, 
rising above the gunwale, serve to belay ropes, or take a round 
turn so as to hold on by a warp, etc. 

Key. — Key model. — A model sometimes made by yacht builders 
of a boat they are to build, on the lines laid down. 

Key of a rudder. — The fastenings, i.e., the forelocks, pins, etc. 
Otherwise the goodgeons and pintles (which see.) 

Kid, otherwise kit (which see). 1. A small wooden tub for grog 
or rations. It often has two ears by which to hold it. 2. A com- 
partment in a fishing vessel for the storing of fish ; but since the 
" fleeting " system has come in (i.e., the system under which vessels 
fish together in fleets, their catches being taken from them daily 
by steam boats) the storing of fish on board vessels is going out. 

Killick, killock, or killagh. — A small anchor ; or, along 
some parts of the coast, a grapnel, when it is also called a creeper. 
(See also Kellagh.) 

King. — King Arthur. — A game at one time played on board 
vessels. A certain person represented the king, in which enviable 
position he was subjected to as much sousing as his subjects chose 
to give him ; and this went on until he was able to make one of the 
party laugh, when it became that one's turn to assume royalty and 
receive his share of drenching. 

King's bargain. — An old naval term. A strange man pressed on 
board a king's ship might turn out a good or bad bargain to the king. 

King's benchers. — Another naval term applied to those galley 
orators who loved to hear the sound of their own voices, or to 
make long speeches. 

King's own. — Still another relic of old days. It was one of many 
names given to the salt beef supplied to the people. (See also Junk, 
"Irish Horse," under Horse, etc.) 


King's parade. — The quarter deck of a man of war, which is 
saluted when stepping on it, in honour of the king.* 

Kink (in a rope). — A sharp bend (drawn almost to a loop) ; 
always dangerous, hut more especially 

so in wire roping. " Rope used in the ^ ^^ags ^»gSEss &5aa-i£ r- 
artillery service is coiled with the sun, Wkink 

i.e., from left to right, in which direc- 
tion the yarns are also twisted, so as to avoid kinking." 

Kippage (old term). — A ship's company. 

Kit. — Any small vessel or tub capable of containing provisions or 
liquids, such as the soup sometimes given at sea. Sometimes, too, 
the term would appear to signify a ration, as a" kit of beef. " A 
boat's baler, or any old can or pot employed in that capacity, is also 
occasionally dignified by the name of kit. (See also KlD.) 

A kit also means a person's clothing, such as may be put in a kit bag. 

Knees. — " Crooked pieces of timber, having two branches or 
arms, and generally used to connect the beams of a ship with her 
sides or timbers." They may be of wood or iron ; elm or ash are the 
best woods, and the knees are of one piece naturally grown to the 
shape, which renders them very costly, and for which reason they are 
now often replaced by iron brackets. A wooden vessel contains a 
vast number of knees. Knees are also called elbows, and sometimes 
chocks. They are variously named, according to their position and 
use : as dagger knees, those placed obliquely ; diagonal knees, hanging 
knees, helm-post knees, lodging knees, those placed horizontally in 
the ship's body ; standard or standing knees, with one arm vertical ; 
transom knees, wing-transom knees, etc. ; knee of the head, usually 
called the cutwater (which see), etc. (in shipbuilding). — The heads (or small posts) 
at the stem of a vessel, between which the bowsprit runs. In small 
craft the stemhead forms one of these posts, and another smaller 
one is set up, usually on the port side of 

it ; in this case the smaller head is called Knicwt head* 

the knighthead. It will be seen that "- — Wm^ 
since the bowsprit in such craft as 
yachts, sailing boats, fishing smacks, 
etc., usually runs out on the deck, the 
bulwarks cannot be carried right up 
to the stemhead. One of the offices of 
the knightheads, therefore, is to take 
the forward end of the bulwarks, leav- 
ing an aperture for the bowsprit to pass 
through. The case is different in large 
vessels, where the knightheads are carried up on each side of the 
stemhead, being, in fact, prolongations of the foremost cant-timbers 
of the ship. Here they are sometimes also called bollard-heads. 

* These terms should perhaps find their place under the heading Queen. As 
ancient terms they are, however, placed as in old works. 


Knit. — The technical name for a twist in a chain. 

Knittles. — Nettles or reef-points. — Small lines used for various 
purposes at sea, as to reef sails from below, etc. The loops or 
buttons of a sail's bonnet are also sometimes so called. {See BONNET.) 

Knot. — A knot, a nautical mile per hour, is a measure of 
speed, but is not infrequently, though erroneously, used as 
synonymous with a nautical mile. (See Mile.) The name is 
derived from the knots formerly tied in the log line to determine 
a ship's speed. {See Lead.) 

Knots (the fastening of ropes). — The art of knot-tying at 
sea must necessarily be perfect ; for the whole safety of a vessel 
under sail depends upon it. There are a vast number of knots if 
all those which have been invented for various purposes be counted ; 
but a few only need occupy the attention of the amateur sailor. 
These, however, are absolutely essential to his safety, and with 
them he should become completely familiar. The knots in general 
use at sea may be classed (for present purposes) as follow : — 
splicings, whippings, lashings, hitches, bends, bowlines, and 

N.B. It is important in 
making knots to take 
plenty of rope in hand, 
and not to make them 
too near the end. The 
technical names for the 
various parts of a rope are 
(see tig. 1) — 1. The stand- 
ing part ; 2. The bight or 
bend ; 3. The end. v r , 

SPLICING.— The ob- 
ject of this is to join two ends of rope permanently together. There 
are three forms of splicing in general use : 1. The long splice ; 2. 
The short splice ; 3. The eye-splice. 

1. " The long splice is used to unite two ends which have to pass 
through a block. It is formed by untwisting the two ends, and 
interweaving the strands of one in the alternate strands of the 
other : they must be hauled well through and beaten with a marline 
spike." Beyond this, it is impossible to teach on paper the 
method of making this splice ; but it is easily to be learned from 
some fisherman, and is a very useful art to be master of. 

2. The short splice is for joining two ends of rope together 
for ordinary use. This, too, though easily learned, is difficult 
to teach on paper. The accompanying diagrams (fig. 2) will, 
however, explain the principle of the method. 1st motion : Unlay 
the strands of each rope and place the ends close together, so that 
the unlaid strands fit into each other as in the fig. 2nd motion: 
Take the left-hand rope and the three strands of the right- 
hand one firmly in the left hand. Take the strand A, pass 



it over the strand nearest to it and under the next (as in the 
small figure) : this is the middle^ strand ; see that this is right 
and the others should 
two strands B and C. 
opposite three strands. 
The first portion of the 

follow. Do the same with the other 
Turn the ropes and do the same with the 



splicing is now accom- 
plished. Repeat it a 
second time. 3rd mo- 
tion : Unlay each of the 
six projecting strands 
(as at A), and cut half 
the yarns away (as at 
B), the object of this 
being that the splice 
may be finished off 
neatly. Pass all these 
reduced strands once 
more (or if necessary, 
twice) under the main 
strands and cut off the 
ends, not too close. 
The splice is complete. 

3. The eye-splice (fig. 
3) forms an eye or cir- 
cle at the end of a rope. 
The end of the rope is 
unlaid, and a portion 
of the standing part, 
sufficiently far down, is 
laid open to receive the 
loose strands, which are 
spliced in just the same 
way as in splicing two 
ropes together. 

whip a rope is to bind 
the end of it with spun 
yarn, usually tarred, so 
that the end may not 
unravel. The simplest 
method of whipping is 
as follows (fig. 4, page 142): 1st motion: Lay the yarn on the rope an 
inch or more from the end and begin binding. 2nd motion: Con- 
tinue binding until within three or four laps of the finish. Then 
make a large bend with the yarn, holding the end firmly down with 
the thumb. Continue binding with the yarn at A, taking it over B. 
3rd motion : Having taken three or four laps over the ytim B, pull 
the end C tightly down. Cut it off, and the whipping is complete. 



2.— Short Splice. 



Fig. 3.— Eye Splice. 

LASHING. — The commonest lashing is the reef or right knot. 
It has a multitude of uses, as for tying the head of a sail to its 
gaff, a top sail to its yard, etc., but it 
derives its name (reef) from the fact 
that reef points are always tied with 
this knot. It is with the reef knot 
that the mistake so often occurs which 
results in an unsafe fastening called 
the ''''granny.''' The diagram (fig. 5) 
will show the difference between these. 
The invariable rule for tying the reef 
knot is — whichever end is uppermost 
after the first motion, must be upper- 
most in beginning the second. The 
reef knot, when so tied that it may be 
more easily undone, is called a draw 
knot, and may be either single or 
double. In the single draw knot, the 
first motion of the reef knot having 
l>een made, a bend is made in one of 
the projecting ends, and that bend or 
double-end is used to finish the knot , 
with the other single end. In the 
double draw knot both projecting ends 
are doubled and the knot is finished with them, making, in fact, a bow. 

Besides the reef knot, ropes may also be lashed together with 
the common bend, the carrick bend, and others, while the lashing 
of spars is accomplished by the use of the various hitches, bends, etc" 

the latches there are 
various sorts, the 
most useful being 
as follow : — 

1. " Taking the 
hitch." — This is 
merely the turning - 
under of a halyard 
or sheet end, to 
complete the belay- 
ing of it round a 
belaying pin or a 
cleat. (See fig. under 

2. A half-hitch is 
merely a turning-in 
of the end of a rope. 

3. Two halj '-hitches. —Another turn or hitch taken in the rope. 
This knot is useful for quickly bending a rope round a post ; making 
fast the painter of a boat to a rail ; bending a rope to a ring ; tyin<* 
clew lines of hammocks, etc. (See fig. 6.) ° ' ° 

Fig. 4.— Whipping. 





4. Clove hitch. — One of the simplest and yet most useful knots 
ever invented. It is one by which a weight can be hung to a 
smooth mast, and is generally used where a rope is passed round any 
spar to be hauled on. It may be employed, however, in place of the 

half-hitch and often in place of a 
bend, as for fastening a jib to its 
stay, etc. The clove hitch may be 
made in two ways, that is, either 
round a spar, or in the hand and 
then slipped over the spar. (See 
fig. 7, page 144.) 

5. Timber hitch. — For taking a 
rope quickly round a bollard or a 
spar, or for moving a weight. The 
end of the rope is taken round the 
object and simply turned over twice 
as in the diagram (fig. 8, page 145). 

6. Blackmail hitch. — To make fast 
a rope to a hook for a temporary 

SintU or Milf Milch 

Fig. 5.— Reef ok Right Knot 
and "Granny." 

Fig. 6.— Two Half-hitches. 

pull: it is not unlike "taking the hitch." The knot is very 
simple, as will be seen from the diagram (fig. 9, page 145). 

7. Harness hitch. — This knot derives its name from the fact 
that it is often used to harness men to a tow-line. It has various 
other uses, however, inasmuch as it enables a loop to be quickly 



made in a rope the ends of which are already engaged. Its 
one disadvantage is that when being drawn tight it is apt to 
turn itself in such a manner as to slip, even though it may be 
quite correctly made. Extreme care must, therefore, be taken 
in drawing it close ; but when once tight it is safe. For practice 
this knot may be made on the ground, or on a table ; but for use it 
is generally made in the hand, when it is best to place the right foot 
on the right hand part of the rope, or a foot on each side. (Reference 
must be made to fig. 10, page 145.) 1st motion: Make a large loop, 
laying right over left. 2nd motion: Pick up A and bring it over B. 
3rd motion: Place the hand under B and grasp the rope at C. ±th 
motion: Draw C right through, as in the diagram, and tighten. 

/iS2>r HOUND 

/» SPA ft 



Fig. 7.— Clove Hitch. 

8. The magnus hitch may also be occasionally found useful, in 
bending a rope to the shackle of an anchor or to a ring, though the 
fisherman's bend [see below) answers the same purpose and is more 

BENDS. — The bends also are numerous and varied. They derive 
the name from the word "bend," which means to "fasten on," as 
bending a sail to the spars, one rope to another, a rope to an anchor 
or ring, etc. 

1. Comm/m bend (fig. 11). — Almost the only knot by which two 
ropes of greatly differing sizes can be joined together. To make the 



•- N -^^^^^^^' 






.Fig. 11.— Common Bend. 

Fig. jo.— Harness Hitch. 




knot let one rope be regarded as stationary, the other as working. 
Bend the left hand, or stationary rope, into the form of a simple hook, 
and then pass the working rope as shown. When this knot is used 
to bend a rope to a cringle, or a sheet to its sail, it is called the^ 

2. Sheet bend (fig. 12), which is 
formed by passing the end of the rope 
through the cringle and taking two 
turns round that, under the bight. 

3. Fisherman's bend (fig. 13), for 
bending a rope to a ring or to the 
shackle of an anchor. 1st motion : Two 
turns round the ring, going over the 
standing part each time. 2nd motion: 
Two half hitches, the first enclosing 
both turns. 

4. Halyard bends. — Top-sail or lug- 
sail halyards may be bent to their 
yards in several ways, the most usual 
being the Clove hitch, the Fisherman's 
bend, or that which is sometimes called 
the top-sail halyard bend, in which three turns are taken round the- 
spar, beginning the knot by passing the rope underneath, andthen. 
finishing as in the diagram (fig. 14). 

Fig. 12.— Sheet Bend. 


Fig. 13. 
Fisherman's Bend. 

Fig. 14. 
Halyard Bend. 



BOWLINE.— This knot is extremely use- 
ful. It serves to make a large loop at the end 
of a hawser or any other rope, which may 
he thrown over a bollard for hauling on to. 
A running knot may also be made by pass- 
ing the main part of the rope through this 


Fig. 15.— Bowline. 


Fig. 16.— Collar Knot. 

loop. The bowline may be left permanently on the rope, for use 
at any moment. The diagram (fig. 15) will explain the method 
of making it. 

COLLAR KNOT (fig. 16), for fitting shrouds to a small mast. 
Two ropes being taken (or one long one doubled into two legs), a 
simple overhand loop {see fig.) is made in the 
middle of one, and the other rope passed through 
this, the loop being then passed over the head of 
the mast. Thus there will be four shrouds, two 
on either side. The fishermen occasionally use 
this in case of their shrouds breaking. 

STOPPER KNOTS.— These are for prevent- 
ing the end of a rope from flying loose or slip- 
ing through some nng or fairlead, and may be 
therefore of various sorts. The simplest is 
the common over-hand thumb or end knot, 
which is no more than a turning-in of the 
end of the rope. An equally simple and very 
elegant one is the figure of eight, with which 
the ends of jib or foresail sheets are often 
stoppered. Both will be understood by the 
diagram (fig. 17). Another is the Matthew 
Walker. — "A knot so termed from the origina- 
tor. It is formed by a half-hitch on each 
strand in the direction of the lay, so that 
the rope can be continued after the knot is F1 eight° F 
formed, which shows as a traverse collar of ' pi G 17 

*L 2 




three strands. It is the knot often used on the end of the lan- 
yards of rigging, where dead-eyes are employed." 

SLIP KNOT or running knot. — A very simple knot (see diagram, 
tig. 18), which draws anything very close and slips easily. 

Fiu. 18. 



Fig. 19.— Sheepshank. 

Among other knots the sheepshank (fig. 19) will he found useful, 
its object being to shorten a cable or warp both ends of which are 
engaged. A study of the diagram will make the method plain. 

Koff. — " A small two-masted vessel formerly employed in the 
Dutch fisheries. It had two masts, main and fore, with a large 
sprit sail abaft each. This arrangement enabled her to sail very 
close to the wind, and she could set square sails if the wind happened 
to be astern." (Brande and Cox.) 

Kreel, or creel. — A framework of timber for taking fish, or for 
preserving them in the water. An osier basket or pot. A crab pot. 
A fishing basket. 

Krennels. — The smaller cringles on a square sail for bowline 
bridles, etc. 


L.L.L. — The three L's, — Lead, Latitude, Look-out. The motto 
to which the old seamen pinned their faith, in preference to putting 
any trust in modern appliances. 

Labour. — When a vessel pitches and strains in a heavy sea she is 
said to labour. 

Lacing. — A thin rope for lacing a sail to a boom or yard, or to a 
stay. A foresail may be made to run on the forestay either by 
shackles or by a lacing. In racing yachts the mainsail is usually 



J3oon\ Laeings 


laced to the boom ; but 
in cruisers this plan is 
seldom followed. A jib- 
headed topsail is occa- 
sionally laced to the 
topmast of a yacht ; 
and a jack-topsail to 
its yard. 

Laden in bulk. 
Carrying loose cargo, 
such as salt, ice, some- 
times corn, etc. 

Ladies' ladder (in 
ships). — Shrouds rat- 
tled too closely, i.e., 
shrouds in which the 
ratlines (which see) are 
so close together that a lady might walk up them without difficulty. 

Lagan, or ligsam. — In law, a term applied to goods jettisoned, 
but secured by almoy or mooring. (See Flotsam and Jetsam.) 

Laggers. — A name at one time given to men who were employed 
in taking canal barges through tunnels, which they did by lying on 
their backs and working with their feet along the head of the arch- 
ways. This may still be seen on the inland canals, and is as often 
as not assisted in by the women who live on board the canal boats. 

Lagging and priming of the tides.— (In physics).— A 
phenomenon of the tides, in consequence of which the intervals 
between high water at any particular place are irregular. The 
cause is the combined action of the sun and moon ; and the effect is 
most apparent about the times of new and full moon. At these 
times the tides are called spring tides, and are higher at high water 
and lower at low water than during the periods of the first and 
third quarters of the moon, when they are called neap-tides. (See 
Making of the Tides.) 

Laid np. — A vessel unrigged or dismantled during winter ; or 
lacking employment. 

Laid up in ordinary. — A naval term signifying that a ship is laid 
up in a state of total inaction. 

Lamb's-wool sky. — White masses of fleecy cloud, often por- 
tending rain. 

Land. — Lands. — In boat-building, the overlapping part of the 
planks in a clincher-built boat. (See "Clincher- building," under 

Land-locked. — A bay or haven almost surrounded by land, and, 
therefore, a safe haven. 

Landmark. — Any conspicuous object on land, serving as a guide or 
warning to ships at sea. 


Landsman. — At sea, the rating of a sailor ; the second-class 
ordinary seaman. Formerly it meant one who had not before been 
to sea. 

Lanyards. — Short pieces of rope having various uses at sea, the 
most important of which is the taughtening down of the shrouds of 
a mast by the deadeyes {which see). One end of the lanyard being 
passed through one of the holes in the upper dead-eye, is stop-knotted 
to prevent its drawing out ; the other end is then rove up and down 
through all the holes in the deadeyes, hauled taut, and, to keep it 
taut, is lashed round the lanyard itself in a system of clove hitches. 

Lapstrake. — The method of boat-building called clincher-build- 
ing. (See Build.) 

larboard.— The old term for " port, " or the left-hand side of 
a vessel. The word being too much like " sta rboard " in sound, 
was officially abolished. 

Large. — " A phrase applied to the wind when it crosses the line 
of a ship's course in a favourable direction, particularly on the beam 
or quarter." 

To sail large is, therefore, to go forward with a wind large. It is 
the same as sailing free, or off the wind ; and the opposite to sailing 
close-hauled or on the wind. 

Lash. — To bind or make fast by ropes. To reef-knot two ropes 
together is often called lashing them. (See Knots.) 

A lashing is a rope securing any movable object. 

Lash the tiller. — To tie the tiller down on one side or the other, 
as is sometimes done in ships when trying, or in fishing boats when 
trawling or dredging. With the tiller lashed a vessel is confined on 
a certain tack and unable to run away from the wind. Hence, in 
general conversation, when a person makes a determination from 
which he will not be moved, he is sometimes said to " Lash the 

Lasher. — On the Upper Thames, the body of water just about 
the fall of a weir and usually marked by a system of white posts set 
up on the stonework. The lasher is often marked " Danger" : in 
any case it is well to keep away from it. 

Laskets, or latchets (occasionally called keys). — Small lines 
sewed to the bonnet or to the drabler of a sail to lash, or lace, one to 
the other. 

Latching eye, or latchet eye. — The loops in the head of a bonnet 
through which the laskets are passed. 

Lasking (old term). — To go a' tasking is much the same as sailing 
large (which see). 

Lastage. — The ballast or lading of a ship. 

Latch. — A " dropping to leeward. " (Winn). 

Latchet. — See Laskets. 

Lateen. — A rig peculiar to vessels navigating the Mediterranean 
and other eastern seas. It consists of a triangular sail of large 


size bent to a very long yard. 
This rig was at one time very 
much employed on the rivers of 
Norfolk and Suffolk, but has 
now become entirely obsolete. 
The mast was stepped well 
forward, was without shrouds or 
-stay, and raked forward. The sail 
was bent to a yard above and a 
short boom below, the yard being 
of immense length, sometimes - 
twice that of the boat itself. 

Latitude. — Distance north 
or south of the Equator, ex- 
pressed in degrees. Lateen Sail. 

Launch. — 1. In the Royal 
Navy, the principal boat belonging to a flag-ship. 

2. To launch. — To put a new vessel into the water. The act is 
always attended M'ith a certain amount of ceremony. 

3. A launch, in the popular meaning of the word, is a small vessel 
propelled by some motor, and generally used in harbour or river 
service, or for pleasure. When it becomes large enough for coasting 
work it is classed as a steam yacht. Of late years launches have 
been made to run by either steam or electricity. Steam being un - 
deniably dirty, and electricity both expensive and inconvenient, the 
use of oil motors is steadily coining in. These have for some time 
suffered under the charge of smell, which-, it must be confessed, has 
been but justly brought against them. The difficulty is, however, 
being surmounted ; oil engines are, at the time of writing, still 
in their infancy, but we cannot help thinking that they must 
eventually supersede both the other motors for use in small 

Lay. — 1. This word at sea often means to " go," as Lay forioard 
or aft, Go forward or aft. 

To lay out upon a yard is to go out towards the yard arms. 
To lay in off a yard. — To return towards the mast. 

2. In another sense the term means to rest quiet, as to lay to, to 
keep a vessel motionless by putting her head to wind and so dispos- 
ing the sails that the effect of one may counteract that of another, 
and therefore prevent her falling off from the wind. 

To lay on one's oars, in other words to rest on the oars, is to leave 
the oars on or just above the water, blades flat. 

To lay in the oars. — To unship and lay them down in the boat. 

3. But in another sense, again, it may imply precisely the opposite, 
as " Lay to " (in rowing), an encouragement to row hard, or, in any 
work, to go to work with a will. 

4. In shipbuilding, to lay down the lines of a vessel, is to delineate 
her form according to rule (See Lines), and when it is thus shown 
her bines are said to be " laid down." 



Laying off. — The modelling in thin wood of any section -of- a, 
vessel under construction. 

5. In ropemaking, the lay of a rope is the direction in which the 
strands are twisted. Thus if they turn in a right hand direction, 
as is the general case, they constitute that which is called hawser- 
laid, while left-handed rope is called cable-laid, cablet, or water- 
laid. {See Rope.) 

6. Lay-day. — The day hy which a cargo must he shipped or dis- 
charged, " and if not done within the term, fair weather permitting, 
the vessel comes out on demurrage," — i. e. , compensation may De- 
claimed hy the shipper, for delay. Thus we have the description of 
Captain Cuttle : 

" A rough hardy seaman, 
Unused to shore's-ways, 
Knew little of ladies, 
But much of lay-days." 

Lazy guy. — A rope or tackle hy which a boom is held down 
so that it may not swing about in rough weather. 

Lead. — 1. (For sounding, commonly called the lead and line). — 
A leaden weight attached to the end of a line and used to ascertain 
the depth of water beneath a vessel and the nature of the soil- 
There are two lead lines, the 
deep sea lead carried only by large 
vessels, and the hand lead with 
which every form of sailing craft 
should be furnished when going 
into strange waters. The hand 
lead is 20 fathoms in length, 
and has a distinguishing mark 
at every fathom ; these divisions 
are called marks and deeps, or 
dips. In a regulation lead line 
there are nine marks placed at 
the intervals 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 
15, 17, 20 : the rest are the deeps. 
The marks 2, 3, and 10 may be 
known bysmall pieces of leather, 
the 2 having two ends, and the 
3 three ends, while the 10 has a 
hole through it. The fathoms 
5 and 15 are marked by white 
bunting ; 7 and 17, red ; 13, blue ; 
and 20 by two knots. The weight 
may be of any shape, but it 
should have a hollow bottom which may be filled with tallow, so 
that a portion of soil is brought up, thereby enabling an ex- 
perienced person to judge his position by reference to his notes ; 
but this is of little use to the amateur. In heaving the lead it should 

Hand Lead. 


be swung well out forward and stopped running the moment it jerks. 
To know when it does this it must be allowed to run through the 
hands. It is interesting to notice that the sounding lead is men- 
tioned by Lucilius. It was also the sund-gyrd of the Anglo-Saxons. 

2. Lead (for ballast). — The best but at the same time the most 
expensive ballast for small boats. (See Ballast.) 

Leadfair. — Any ring, or block, or liole which leads a rope in the 
direction required. (See FAIELEAD.) 

Leading. — 1. (Of atackle). — The leading part of a tackleis that 
part of the rope which leads towards the standing (or fixed) end, 
and is, therefore, the moving part of the rope. (See TACKLE.) 
Smyth describes it as the rope of a tackle which runs between the 
fall and the standing part, and generally confounded with the fall. 

2. (Of the wind). — A leading wind is a free or fair wind, in con- 
tradistinction to the term a scant wind (which see). 

3. Leading strings. — Another name for yoke lines. (SeeYoKR.) 
Leak. — Any split, hole, or fissure in the hull of a vessel which 

allows water to enter. When a vessel suddenly develops a leakage she 
is said to have sprung a leak. Small leaks may sometimes be stopped 
by fathering (see F OTHER) : in boats it is customary to apply tingles. 

When a boat lets in the water between her planks she is described 
as leaky : this may be the result either of laying up ashore, or of 
age and strain. In the latter case, and if the boat be clincher -built, 
it is sometimes remedied, for a time, by doubling (which see). 

The signal N.S. of the International Code signifies "I have 
sprung a leak." 

Lean bow. — A sharp entrance (which see). 

Leather (of an oar). — That part of the oar which works in the 
rowlocks. It is so called because it is bound with leather. (See Oae. ) 

Lee and Leeward (pronounced foo-axd or lew-ard). — The lee 
side of a vessel is the side opposite to that upon which the wind 
blows ; the other side being called the windward or weather side. 
Leeward means " on the lee-side" ; thus a vessel to leeward would be 
seen over the lee side. To be under the lee of any vessel, object, or 
shore, is to be under its shelter ; that is, on the lee side of it. So 
that if we pass close under shelter of a large ship which may take all 
the wind out of our sails, we come under its lee ; or if we lie at anchor 
close under a shore off which the wind is blowing, and receive, there- 
fore, the shelter of its cliffs, we hie under the lee of that shore. 

A lee shore, on the 3>i re c t i o n. 

otherhand,isashore " C . ..■, ; , ; . . 

upon which the wind 

blows ; so that if we 

are driven by the 

force of the wind 

towards such a shore 

we are said to be , ?"- £ . X nd iVL 

, . , l ;e 6hore the Lee 

driven upon a lee . tfie ikorz 

shore. (See hg. 1.) Fia ^ 





A lee tide is a tide running in the same direction as the wind 
blows. A tide under the lee is a tide in a direction opposite to that 
of the wind. 

In explanation of this let us suppose ourselves sailing with the 
wind a'beam. (See fig. 2.) If the tide is in the same direction as 
the wind (or, in other 
words, if it runs towards 
the leeward), carrying us 
away with it, we have 
a lee tide. But if the 
tide runs to windward, 
that is, up against the 
wind, it is a weather 
tide ; and hecause it presses against the lee side of the boat, it is, 
therefore, said to be under its (the hoat's) lee. (fig. 2.) 

Lee-way is the difference (or distance) between the course steered 
by a vessel and that actually run, when the wind is on any part 
of her side. In fig. 3 A is the position of the ship. If the 
wind or current (or both) be coming 

Weather Tide. 

Fig. 2. 

Lee Tide. 

B>-— - 

— »• 


r c 

or current 

from the direction marked and the 
point B is to be made, the helms- 
man will take into account the " x , 
action of wind and current, and 
will steer his boat towards another N * 
point C, some distance above B. ^ v 
A C is, therefore, the course \ 
steered ; A B the course actually \ 
run ; and the distance between 
these, viz., B C, is the lee way. 
Lee way must always be calculated 
upon when sailing with a side Fig. 3. 
wind, with a lee-tide, or with the 

tide under the lee. Naturally with a lee- tide there will be very much 
more lee-way made than if the tide be under the lee ; and this will 
become very apparent to the beginner as soon as he takes the tiller 
in hand. Very much more 
lee-way will also be 
made by flat - bottomed 
vessels such as barges, 
than by those having deep 
keels or centreboards which 
present a wide surface to 
oppose a current. To coun- 
teract this tendency to 
lee- way, therefore, such 
flat-bottomed vessels are 
furnished with : — 

Lee-boards (fig. 4), which 
are flat boards let down on Fig. 4. 



either side of a wall-sided vessel, such as a barge or ketch, and 
serving in the place of a keel. There is one on each side of the 
vessel, and that one on the lee side is lowered when sailing, the 
pressure of the water keeping it in place. 

Lee-helm. — The tendency of a vessel to run away from the wind 
when sailing, therefore necessitating that the helm be kept a'lee. 
The term is more fully explained under the heading Helm. 

All these terms are in daily use among seafaring and yachting 
men, and should be thoroughly understood by the beginner. 

Lee-gage. — The distance to leeward of any given object, in con- 
tradistinction to weather-gage (which see). 

Lee-fanges. — "Ropes reeved into cringles of sails to haul down 
those parts of such sails." 

Lee-hatch. — A cant phrase, as " Keep off the lee hatch, " which 
means, " Do not let the vessel make more lee-way than can be 

' Lee ho!" — Equivalent to "'Bout ho!" A shout of warning 
given by a helmsman to those in his boat, that he is going to put 
about. Upon hearing this warning, all those on board will do well 
to lower their heads, or by some other means to get out of the way 
of the boom as it swings over. 

Lee runners. — Another name for those backstays which are 
slackened as sails go over. They are called lee runners because it 
is those on the /ee-side which have to run or be loosed. 

Leech (meaning " lee-edge "). — The aftermost (back-most) or 
lee margin of a sail. This definition will apply equally to all sails ; 
but there is this difference to be noted between those of the square 
rig and those of the fore-and-aft, viz., as square sails change their 
positions constantly, there can be no such thing as a permanent 
after edge, while, if they are set with the wind directly aft, the 
edges of each side are, theoretically, in the same position. But 
in fore-and-aft rig such is not the case : the edge of the mainsail 
nearest the mast, for instance, is always the foremost edge of the 
sail, and is permanently, therefore, the luff; and for the same reason 
the edge of the sail away from the mast is always the leech. Either 
side of a square sail, on the other hand, is the luff when it is the 
weather edge, and the leech when it is the lee edge. 

Leech lines. — In square rig, lines from the leeches, or edges of a 
square sail, on either side, to blocks hung on the yard at the other 
side of the sail : they therefore cross each other. Leech lines brail 
up the sails. 

Leech rope. — The bolt-rope running along the leech of a sail. 

Leg. — 1. Roughly speaking, when a rope resolves itself into 
two or more parts it is said to have legs. Thus, the topmast 
shrouds in a yacht continue only a little below the cross-trees. 
The reason for this is that when the top-mast is housed (lowered 
for a time) its shrouds may be only of such a length as to lie 
conveniently secured close to the main shrouds. For were they so 
long as to reach the deck when the mast was elevated there would 



be difficulty in stowing away so much wire-roping 
when the mast was down. It is evident, however, 
that when the topmast is raised, its shrouds must 
he set up (tightened) by some means or other ; and 
the most convenient method of accomplishing 
this is to fix a block at the end of the shrouds, 
through which block a line, or hempen rope, is 
rove, so that when it is hauled upon, the shrouds 
are tightened, and when the mast is struck, this 
tackle may be unshackled and stowed away in a 
convenient place. This rope, then, is called the 
legs. (See fig.) 

But at sea, almost any rope which branches out 
in more than one direction is said, as above men- 
tioned, to have legs. Thus the bowlines of square 
sails branch out into several legs, each leg being 
attached to the leech of the sail at a different 
point, so that the sail may be held, as it were, by 
several ropes, and perfectly flat : these brandies 
are the bowline legs. So also are bunt lines often 
divided into various legs called the bunt-line-legs. 

2. Legs are also wooden beams which support 
a boat in an upright position when she lies high 
and dry. 

" To have her legs on." — An expression often used of a boat when 
she sails fast. 

Long-legged. — Said of a vessel when she draws a great depth of 
water, and would, therefore, require very long legs to support her 
high and dry. 

3. Leg-of-mutton sail (sometimes called shoulder- of -mutton sail). — 
A triangular main sail sometimes used in small boats ; and occasionally 
as a trysail in small yachts. It is an adaptation from the Mudian 
rig {which see), and derives its name from its shape, which is supposed 
to resemble a leg or shoulder of mutton. 

Length. — There are two measures of length to a boat ; 1st. 
Length on the water line ; 2nd. Length over all, which is her entire 
length from stem to stern. 

Let. — Let draw (spoken of sails). — To let the jib or foresail 
go over, as a boat goes about. {See under Jib and Foresail.) 

Let go. — -To slacken away a rope, or let it go altogether. 

Let out a reef. — To increase the area of a sail which has been 
reefed by loosening the reef points, and letting the confined (or 
reefed) part of the sail go. 

Liabilities. — It is with a boat as with a house ; and, indeed, the 
liabilities are greater on the boat. All money owing on a boat, all 
dues or claims upon her, pass over, when she changes hands, to the 
new owner. Purchasers of second-hand craft will be wise, therefore, 
to satisfy themselves before completing a contract that the property is 
free : and it is always well to have a written guarantee to this effect. 


Liberty. — Leave to go ashore. 

Liberty-men. — Those belonging to a ship's company who are 
ashore on leave. 

Lie. — Lie by. — To be waiting, or put by for a time. 

Lie over. — To be heeled or careened over, as a boat, when sailing 
under press of canvas, lies over. 

Lie within 4 points, & points, etc. — (See under SAILING.) 

Lie on the oars. — To pause in rowing : the same as lay on one's 
oars (which see). 

Lie to (in sailing). — To remain without motion. (See Lay to.) 

Life. — Lifeboat. — The principle of the lifeboat as now used 
by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is as follows. The boat 
is about 30ft. long with 8ft. beam, nearly flat bottomed and 
weighted with a heavy keel. It is propelled by eight or twelve oars, 
rowed double-banked ; but is also rigged with two masts carrying 
working-lug and mizzen and fore-sails. Occasionally, though rarely, it 
is furnished with a steam engine and propeller. The bow and stern 
rise about 2ft. above the main portion, forming air-tight chambers : 
compartments also run all round just below the gunwales. The 
boat has a false bottom 
raised above the water 
line, the space between 
this and the bottom 
being packed with cork; 
and through this space 
run several valves, being 
open tubes through 

which, should a sea fill the boat, her false bottom being above water 
bine, the water is immediately discharged. Thus the boat is unsinkable 
and almost uncapuzable ; and should she capuze must quickly right 
herself. An efficient lifeboat is held capable of carrying one adult 
person to every 10 cubic feet of capacity ; to which capacity she must 
also have l£ft. of air-tight compartments. Lifeboats are kept up 
entirely by voluntary contributions. The Institution is, conse- 
cpiently, always in want of funds and support. The number of 
lives it saves annually may be counted in hundreds. Lifeboats are 
manned by volunteers ; but only experienced men are chosen unless 
there be a lack of numbers. They are paid for work by day 10s., 
by night £1 ; day and night being counted from 12 o'clock to 12 

Lifeboat cutter (in the Royal Navy). — A long gig (from 23ft. to 
28ft.), propelled by six or eight oars, for the use of superior officers. 

Life-buoy, life-belt, life-jacket. — Any apparatus which is suffi- 
ciently buoyant to support a man in the water may be called a life- 
buoy. The use and appearance of life-buoys are well known ; it 
cannot be too strongly urged that they be always kept handy, whether 
in boats or along shore. Besides the ordinary Kisbie's (zone shaped ) 
buoys of canvas-covered cork, there are various kinds, the most con- 
venient and portable being perhaps those which are blown out and 



tied round the body under the arms. Everyone 
learning to sail should wear one of these : their 
cost is from 5s. to 10s. , and they may be ohtained 
from almost any indiarabber warehouse. The 
Board of Trade, however, recognises no contri- 
vance that requires inflation as a life-jacket. 
According to its regulations every jacket or 
belt supplied to ships' boats (and there shall be 
one to each oarsman and one to the coxswain) 
must float for 24 hours with a weight of 231bs. 
upon it, and must weigh only 5lbs. when dry. 
That shown in the figure is the one employed 
by the Admiralty. Buoys must be of cork and 
capable of bearing 321bs. of iron for 24 hours, 
or if not of cork the weight to be borne is 
increased to 40lbs. 

To use a life-buoy. — Keep as low as possible 
in it : a person endeavouring to raise the body 
oixt of the water by the life-buoy is in danger 
of being turned over. 

To throw a life-buoy. — It should be thrown 
flat, as a quoit is pitched. This must be done with 
judgment and coolness ; and if a person fall over- 
board from the fore end of a vessel, the life-buoy 
must be carried aft before being thrown. 

Life-line. — 1. Any rope stretched along part 
of a vessel to prevent a person from falling 
overboard. 2. Any rope for throwing to 
a drowning person. Such ropes are always 
kept in readiness at the various stations of 
the Royal Humane Society. 

Life-saving. — 1. Rocket apparatus. — Instruc- 
tions issued by the Board of Trade for the Inflated Life-Belt 
guidance of masters and seamen when using the rocket apparatus 
for saving life, may be obtained by any person at any mercantile 
marine office, free of charge. They are also published in Lloyd's 
" Seamen's Almanac." (See under Rocket.) 

2. Restoration of the apparently 
drowned. [See under Drowned.) 

Lifts. — In square rigged ships, ropes 
passing through blocks at the mast- 
heads, taking the weight of the yards, 
and enabling them to be trimmed. In 
some vessels they also act as sheets for 
the sails above. " The yards are said 
to be squared by the lilts when they 
hang at right angles with the mast, i.e., 
parallel with the horizon when the 
vessel is upright in the water. " Lifts. 


Topping lift. — A rope passing through a hlock at the mast-head 
and down to the guy end of a boom, to enable it to be topped 
(lifted) when reefing, tricing, etc. (See Top.) 

Light. — A vessel is said to be "light" when she is without cargo, 
and consequently high out of water. 

To light is a term sometimes used by sailors instead of to help ; 
as " Light along that rope. " 

Light sails. — In square rigged ships, the flying /cites; i.e., as a 
rule, the sky sails and their accompanying studding sails. But 
there were extraordinary occasions when some of the old bine- 
ships and East Indiamen could set no less than three sets of square 
sails above the royals; viz. — the sky sails, the moon rakers, and 
the jumpers (or jolly jumpers). A ship thus equipped and with 
her six jibs was literally under every stitch of canvas, even to the 
last pocket-handkerchief. 

Lights. — The rules for lights to be carried and exposed by ships at 
sea come under the " Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea," 
Articles 2 to 11. From these we may deduce the following. [See fig. 
page 160.) Art. 3. — A steamship under weigh exposes, on the star- 
board side a green light ; on the port side a red light ; on the mast 
(about 20 ft. up) a white light. Art. 4. — A tug, or a steamship 
towing another vessel. — On the mast 2 white lights (one under the 
other); the starboard and port-bights as above. Art. 5. — A vessel 
not under command (i. e. , which cannot get out of the way) , on the 
mast (about 20 ft. up) 3 red lights (one above the other), or if it 
be a vessel laying or picking up a cable, 2 red lights and 1 white one 
(the white one in the middle), one above the other ; and by day — 
3 black balls, or shapes, in the same position. Art. 0. — A sailing ship 
under way, or being towed, on starboard side green, on port side red, 
that is, side lights just the same as the steamers ; but never a mast 
light unless at anchor. Art. 7. — " Whenever, as in the case of small 
vessels during bad weather, the green and red lights cannot be fixed, 
these lights shall be kept on deck, on their respective sides of the 
vessel, ready for use ; and shall, on the approach of or to other 
vessels, be exliibited on their respective sides in sufficient time to 
prevent collision, in such manner as to make them most visible, and 
so that the green bight shall not be seen on the port-side, nor the 
red bight on the starboard side." Art. 8. — All and any vessels at 
anchor expose 2 white light (not more than 20 ft. above the hull), 
called the riding light. Art. 9. — A pilot vessel engaged on her 
station, 1 white light at the masthead, and flare-up bights at short, 
intervals. Art. 10. — A vessel engaged in fishing, 2 white lights, 
between 5 and 10 ft. apart, one only a little lower than the other, 
the lower being the foremost. Art. 11. — A ship which is being over- 
taken by another shall sIkjw from her stem to such last mentioned 
ship a white light or a flare-up light. A dredging hulk in a channel 
shows 3 white lights in the form of a triangle. The diagram illus- 
trating the meeting of vessels, end on, may be found useful. Here 
the port and starboard sides will, of course, appear to be reversed^ 


Lighthouse. — A tower exhibiting a powerful light at its head 


— a landmark by day and by night, for which reason they are of 
various forms. {See figs. ) In ancient times a lighthouse (that of 



Stone Lighthouse. 

Pharos) became one of the wonders 
of the world. The appearances of 
lights are varied so that navigators 
may know the coast they are ap- 
proaching. This is done princi- 
pally by varying the intervals 
between the appearance of the 
light; by the exposition of two 
or more lights ; and sometimes by 
exhibiting a red light, the only 
colour which can be used, all 
others absorbing too many rays 
to be of general service at sea. 
There are, nevertheless, certain 
exceptions to this rule : the Mouse 
Light, for instance, in the Thames 
Estuary, is green. 

A revolving light is one in which 
there is a stated interval between 
each appearance. A flash light is 
that in which the flashes follow so 
quickly as to give almost the appear- 
ance of scintillations. An intermit- 
tent light is a fixed light suddenly 
eclipsed and as suddenly revealed, 
its appearance being quite unlike 
that of the revolving light. 

Light ship. — A light ship may 
be called a floating lighthouse 

securely moored on the margin of some dangerous rock or sand. 
These ships are of peculiar form, and easily recognized. They 
usually expose revolving lights. 

Lighter.— A 
powerful hull or 
barge, flat bottomed, 
for transporting heavy 
goods ashore or up 
rivers. They are ex- 
tremely common on 
the London river, 
where they may daily be seen dropping either up or down with the tide, 
being steered through the bridges by long sweeps (or oars. ) (See fig. ) 

Ligsam. — Another name for lagan (ivhich see). 

Limbers. — Apertures in almost any part of a vessel, such as 
the flat floors or through coamings, which are put there for the 
purpose of allowing water to run away through them. But when 
the word " limbers " is used without further distinction, it is usually 
understood to mean the apertures through the flat-floor beams, at 


Pile Lighthouse. 

Thames Lighters. 


the lowest part of the hull. The limbers of a ship may therefore 
be called her main drains. They are gutters along her keelson, and 
receive her bilge-water. (See diagram under FRAME.) 

Limber boards. — Short pieces of planking forming part of a 
vessel's lining, and usually capable of removal, so that the limbers 
may be cleared. (See Frame. ) 

Limber kentledge. (See Kentledge.) 

Limber passage. — The passage on each side of the keelson. 

Limber st?-a/ces (in shipbuilding) are the planks running along 
the lowest part of a vessel. 

Linchpin. — A small iron pin passing through some shaft 
axle or bar, such as the stock of an anchor. It is also sometimes 
called a forelock. 

Line. — A small rope : as bunt lines, clew lines, tricing lines, the 
lead line, etc. 

The line. — At sea the Equator is called the line. In the old days 
of sailing ships great festivities took place on crossing the line, and 
a sailor was not considered a landsman until he had, so to speak, re- 
ceived the freedom of the sea by an initiation, at this time, which, 
from all accounts, appears to have been more enjoyable for the 
onlooker than for the principal performer. The practice is still 
kept up to a minor extent, but is gradually dying out. 

A line of ships. — Originally a fleet entered into battle in lines : 
there were the front line, the inner line, etc. ; and hence a company 
of ships came to be known as a line. Tins then is the origin of 
the word as used by a firm which owns a ' ' company " of ships, 
and therefore calls itself a line. Hence, also, we have the name 
liner, originally a battleship of the line ; to-day one of the ships 
belonging to a line. 

To line. — To lay one piece of anything over or inside another. 
Hence lining in ship-building — the inside planking of a vessel within 
her ribs. But in those boats which are built with a double plank- 
ing, one immediately over the other, both outside the ribs, the 
usual lining is often absent ; and here the inner planking is called 
the lining or case','- the outer one being the skin. (Sec diagrams 
under FRAME.) In the lining of a vessel the planks usually 
have a space between them to allow a free circulation of air : 
when, however, they are fitted close up it is called close-lining. 
Old yachts, and especially those for sale, may sometimes be. found 
" close- lined " : this may very possibly have been done to liide 
defective ribs, a fact which should be borne in mind by purchasers. 
In sailing boats of the better class, lining is often dispensed with 
altogether, as it is in almost every case with row boats. 

Lines (in marine architecture). — The drawings of the form or 
shape of an intended vessel. These drawings are three in number : 
1. The sheer plan ; 2. the half -breadth plan ; 3. the body-plan. The 
sheer plan is the side view on which are laid off the length, heights 
of all parts from the keel, etc. The half-breadth plan shows the 
horizontal or floor plan on any water line. The body plan is the 




The Lines of a Yacht. 

end view showing the curves of the sides at any point in her length ; 
" and since the two sides are exactly alike, the left half represents 
the vertical sections in the after part of the body, and the right 
half those in the fore 
part," or vice versa. 
Thus, lines running 
parallel to the surface 
of the water (such as 
the water bines) appear 
as straight bines paral- 
lel to the keel in the 
sheer plan ; as straight 
bines at right angles to 
the keel in the body- 
plan, and as curved 
bines on the half- 
breadth plan. The 
delineation of vessels 
intended for speed, 
as racing yachts and 
boats, is one of the 
most occult branches 
of marine architec- 
ture ; for it rests neither altogether upon mathematical rules, nor 
upon the rule-of-thumb, and is always subservient to the method 
of rating which may, at the time, be in vogue. 

Lines of flotation. — Water lines ; horizontal in the sheer-plan, etc. 

Load water line. — The bine of deepest immersion of a ship. — i.e., 
when she is loaded. 

Buttock line. — A vertical section taken longitudinally along the 
boat. (See diagrams). It gives the form of the buttock, and of the 
run (both of which see). 

Concluding line. — A bine hitched to eveiy step down the middle of 
a rope ladder. 

Deep-sea line. — The sounding bine for use in great depth. 

Hand line. — The bine for shallow sounding (see Lead). 

Life line. — A rope extended in various positions about a ship for 
people to lay hold of. Also a rope thrown to any person who 
may fall overboard. (See under Life.) 

Lubber's line. — (See under Lubber.) 

Mar-line. — Small bine, of two strands, used in marling (ichich 

Naval line. — A rope, in square rigged vessels, which assists in 
bracing yards up for sailing on a wind. ' 

Ratlines. — The steps of a rope ladder. (See Ratlinks. ) 

Spilling line. — In square rig, a rope of occasional use for reefing 
or furling sails, " spilling " being to reduce a sail. 

Tarred line. — A rope painted with or dipped in tar, in contra- 
distinction to a white line — one not tarred. 

M 2 


Link. — One of the component members of a chain, of which 
there are various patterns, as stud link, close-link, open-link, etc. 
(-See Chain.) 

Link-worming. — In the days of hempen cables, a method of worm- 
ing cables with chain so that they should not chafe in the hawse 

Lipper (leaper?). — A sea which washes over the bows of a vessel. 
Also the spray from a small sea. 

List (sometimes pronounced by the fishermen "lust"). — An 
inclination. Thus a vessel may be said to take "a hist over to 
starboard " or to port. 

Listing (in shipbuilding and repairing). — The cutting out of the 
edge of a plank in a ship's side, so as to expose the timber (rib) 
beneath it. 

Lizard. — 1. An iron ring spliced into a rope end. It is usually 
called a thimble or eye. 2. A parrel is also sometimes called a 
lizard, or yard guide. 

Lloyd's. — The well-known institution called Lloyd's has been in 
existence since the year 1716. Its name is derived from a coffee 
house kept by one Lloyd, to which all interested in shipping matters 
resorted. From thence it was removed, and eventually located in 
the new Royal Exchange. Besides undertaking all matters of 
insurance through its members, it publishes, periodically, a volu- 
minous inventory of shipping intelligence, known as Lloyd's List, 
the importance of which, in the mercantile world, cannot be over- 
rated. For a short history of Lloyd's, see Lloyd's " Seamen's 
Almanac, 1897." 

Load line, or load water line. — In the lines of a ship, the 
supposed line of deepest immersion — i.e., when loaded. (See Lines.) 
It is, in fact, the ship's proper displacement. 

Loadstone. — {See Lodestone.) 

Loafer. — A name given to a man who hangs about by the water- 
side, either to pick up a job, or, if occasion prompt, to pick up 
anything else. They are sometimes called "shore rakers" ; possibly 
from "raking the shore." It is not advisable to employ such men 
where watermen or fishermen can possibly be obtained. 

A 'long-shwe loafer is one who loafs along the shore, though the 
name is sometimes given to those who fish or find other honest 
employment along shore ; these are not to be included in the same 
category as the loafers above mentioned. 

Loch. — A word of Gaelic origin. A lake or an arm of the sea in 
North Britain or Ireland. 

Lock. — " In internal navigation, the part of a canal included 
between two floodgates, by means of which a vessel is transferred 
from a higher to a lower level, or from a lower to a higher. It is also 
applied to the contrivance by which vessels are maintained at the 
level of high tides in harbours exposed to variations of level." 
(Brande and Cox.) 



Locker. — A compartment on board a boat, for the stowage of 
anything. Small cupboards are called lockers, as well as the com- 
partments iuto which the chain drops, and that in which ropes, 
small sails, and such like necessities are stored. 

Davy Jones' locker. — The bottom of the sea. 

Lodestone. — " The name given to magnetic iron ore when 
endowed with magnetic polarity ; in which case it constitutes the 
native magnet or lodestone." It is this with which the needle of 
the mariners' compass is rubbed to enable it always to point 
towards the north. 

Lodging knees. — In ship-building, deck-beam knees. (See 

Log. — The instrument used to measure the rate of a vessel's 
velocity through the water. The most primitive manner of calcu- 
lating this velocity appears to have been for a person 
to heave the log over the bow of the vessel, and to "~ ,u i,o4 n 
run with it until he reached the poop, the speed at 
which he ran forming the basis upon which the ship's 
speed was reckoned ; and it is said that Avonderfully 
accurate results were obtained by this rough method. 
Until recent years, the log consisted of a piece of 
wood in the form usually of the quadrant of a circle 
about oin. or6in. in radius, and a quarter of an inch 
thick, and so balanced, by a leaden weight, as to 
float perpendicularly almost immersed in the water. 
This was called the " ship," and was fastened to one 
end of a long line called the log line, the other end 
being wound on a reel, placed in the stern part of 
the vessel. The " ship " being heaved, or thrown 
into the water, theoretically kept its place while the 
line ran off the reel as the ship moved, the length 
unwinding in a given time giving the rate of sailing. 
This was calculated by knots made on the line at 
regular intervals and a sand glass which ran a certain 
number of seconds. " In order to avoid calculation, 
the length l)etween these knots was so proportioned 
to the time of the glass that the number of knots 
unwound wlule the glass ran down should be the 
number of miles the vessel was sailing per hour. " 
This, then, is the origin of the knot — the nautical 
mile. The log being heaved at certain times in each 
watch, the particulars were entered in the vessel's 
book, which was therefore called the log book or log, 
and which contained, besides, all details relating to 
whatever transpired during a voyage. The log-book 
still exists. But the system just noticed being sub- 
ject to considerable contingencies, such as currents, etc., is now 
being superseded by various forms of self-registering rotators, which 



give the actual speed of the vessel much more accurately. Such 
are Bliss's Patent American Taffrail Log and many others which, 
being dropped over the ship's stem, are left there permanently, and, 
while continuing to revolve with a speed proportionate to that of 
the ship, may be read at any time. 

Log boards. — Boards placed together, and opening like the leaves 
of a book, \ised in old ships upon which to enter the records of the 
ship each day ; from whence it was copied into the log book. 

Log b)ok. — The ship's journal. Everything, including the dis- 
tance the ship has made, her position, and anything winch may 
have happened on board, is entered therein. For a person to be 
entered in the log book is called being logged, and, if for offence, 
is a serious matter. 

Log wood. — A dye-wood from America. 

Long. — Long 
bxit. — A strong 
row - boat pro- , 
pelled by eight 
or ten oars, some- . „. 

times double Longboat. 

binked. The largest row-boat carried by a ship. 

Long gaskets. — Gaskets used at sea, in contradistinction to those 
used in harbour. {See Gaskets and Harbour Gaskets.) 

Long-jawed. — Rope which has, by much wear and strain, become 
such that the strands are straightened out, enabling it to coil both 

Long timbers. — In ship- building, timbers rising from the dead 
woods and running upwards in one piece, instead of being made up 
of several futtocks. (See Frame.) 

Long-legged. — Said of a vessel when she draws a great depth of 

Long-shore (along shore). — A 'long-shore man is one who pursues 
his vocation along the shore, in contradistinction to those whose 
business takes them some distance from the shore ; such are water- 
men or boatmen and the like, as opposed to seamen or fishermen. 
'Long-shore men are, however, often very good sailors. 

Longitude. — Distance east or west of a first meridian, ex- 
pressed in degrees. Our first meridian is that which passes through 

Loo. — A pronunciation of the word lee (which see), as in 
" loo-ard " for "leeward." 

Loof. — 1. The old name for luff (which see). 

2. (Of a ship. ) That portion under the bows of a vessel which 
curves inwards towards the stem. 

3.. To loof. — To be in a certain direction, as a plank " loofs fore- 
and-aft," etc. 

Look-out. — The attention of a steersman, in whatsoever craft, 
should never, under any circumstances, be taken off his work ; and 


at the same time it is always well for all on board to keep a good 
look out. 

Loom. — 1. (Of an oar.) That part from the leather, or fulcrum, 
to the grip, or handle. (See Oak. ) 

2. An object is said to loom or loom up, when, under certain 
states of the atmosphere, as in fogs and occasionally towards evening, 
it appears larger than we suppose it to be. Probably the absence 
of the detail with which we are familiar gives a breadth to the 
object to whicli we are not accustomed ; it must be remembered, too, 
that we see objects under such circumstances from a much shorter 
distance than usual. 

3. Loom gale. — An easy gale, in whicli topsails may be carried. 
Loose. — To loose a rope. — To let it go. 

To loose a sail. — To unfurl or set it. 

To loose for sea. — To unfurl and make sail for going out. 

Lop. — To lop over is to lay over suddenly. 

Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.— The chief magistrate 
or lord of the Cinque Ports. The position is usually held by some 
person of distinction, and often by a minister, or an ex-minister. 

Lose way, or lose ground. — To make lee way ; to drift, etc. 

Loss. — In insurance " total loss is the insurance recovered 
under peril, according to the invoice price of the goods when em- 
barked, together with the premium of insurance. Partial loss upon 
either ship or goods, is that proportion of the prime cost whicli is 
equal to the diminution in value occasioned by the damage." 

Lost (of a ship). — "Wrecked, foundered or cast away. 

Lost day. — The day which is lost in circumnavigating the globe 
to westward. 

Lon. — A Little bill or mound. Also a pronunciation of the word 
lee (which see), as in " lou-ard " for " leeward. " 

Low. — " Under low sails." — A ship is sometimes spoken of as 
such when sailing under her courses and close-reefed topsails only. 

Lower. — To let down. 

Lower cheerily. — To lower expeditiously. 

Loiver handsomely. — To lower gradually. 

Lotoer topsail, sometimes called the middle topsail. — In square 
rigged ships, a topsail which is the result of cutting a heavy square 
topsail in half, thus making two (an upper and a lower) where only 
one used to be. As these two halves are more readily worked than 
the original whole, the system is now commonly followed on all 
modern ships. It is more fully described under the heading double 

Lubber. — A term, not altogether of endearment, used among 
sailors. It means "a person " — usually a "foolish person." It is, 
in fact, a contemptuous name given by seamen to those who are not 
versed in their own art. 



Land-lubber is the title appropriated to a landsman. 

Lubber's hole is a name given to an aperture in the gear of a 
topmast through which access may be obtained to the masthead 
by a slower but less dangerous means than that ordinarily taken 
by active seamen ; for which reason it is considered only worthy 
of a lubber, or land-lubber. (See diagram to FuTTOCK PLATE.) 

Lubber's line. — The mark in the mariner's 
compass case which shows the exact fore-and- 
aft direction of the ship. Thus, whatever 
point conies under the lubber's line tells the 
direction in which the ship's head lies. The 
origin of the name is not altogether plain, 
unless we suppose that seamen have the 
faculty of calculating the exact position of 
such a Line without its presence. 

Lubberland. — "A kind of El Dorado in 
sea story. " Lubber's Line. 

Luff. — The luff of a sail is its weather edge. (See Sail.) 

To luff in sailing, is to bring a vessel's head closer to the wind. 

To luff up or luff round is to throw her head right up to the wind. 

To luff into a harbour or bay, is to sail into it close-hauled to 
the wind. 

To spring a luff. — To yield to the helm and allow the vessel to go 
nearer the wind. 

Luff hooks. — "Tackle with two hooks, one of which is to hitch 
into the cringles of the main and fore-sail, and the other into a 
strap or pulley rope let into the chess-tree, etc., its use being to 
succour the tackles in a large sail. " (Bailey's Dictionary.) 

Luff tackle. — " Any tackle that is not designed for any particular 
place. " 

The word " luff " was anciently expressed " loof, " in explanation of 
which we have the following : " The loof is that part of a ship 
aloft which lies just before the timbers called chess-trees, as far 
as the bulk-head of the forecastle. 

1 'Loof pieces are those guns that lie in the loof of a ship. " (Bailey. ) 

Lug. — Lug sail. — A four-sided sail, bent to a yard, and slung to 
the mast in a fore-and-aft position ; it is a sail 
exceedingly common in boats, and by far the 
best with which to provide a beginner. There 
are three kinds of lug sails in general use, the 
standing or working, the dipping, and the bal- 
ance; to these may be added the Clyde lug, 
whicli is less common, though still often seen, 
and is, in fact, only an enlarged standing lug. 
1. Standing or working lug. — This sail is bent 
to a yard, and may be with or without a boom : 
if without, it has one particular advantage to Ipiea 
beginners; for when the sheet is let go the^^. 
sail holds no wind, or, in popular language, Working Lug. 



becomes little more than a flag. Yet the use of it will not teach the 
art of sailing, because there is danger that the tyro, getting accus- 
tomed to letting go his sheet in heavy puffs of wind, will do likewise 
when he comes to handle a boat rigged with a boom sail ; the conse- 
quences of which may often be serious, for a boom sail holds the wind, 
and by letting it go the boat may be capsized. 

2. Dipping lug. — Much used at sea, but 
inconvenient except in making long reaches, 
for the tack being carried to the stem post 
of the boat, it is necessaiy to drop, or "dip" 
the sail (hence the name) each time the boat 
goes about, and reset it on the other side of 
the mast. It is nevertheless a veiy powerful 
sail, and in skilful hands the dipping is 
quickly accomplished ; and by the tack being 
carried forward it becomes both lug and 
foresail in one. 

3. Balance lug. — The favourite sail for 
pleasure boats and small yachts rigged with 
lug sails. It has a lower spar, called the 
boom, which may be extended beyond the 
stem, and sometimes even beyond the stem 
of the boat ; and which allows, therefore, of 
a very large sail, well suited to quiet waters, 
though somewhat dangerous at sea, espe- 
cially when running, for the boom, if very 
long, is liable to catch the waves. 

4. Clyde lug. — This is a standing lug 
carried to a great height on a mast stepped 
well in the bows ; the yard is long and 
heavy ; and the sheet of the sail travels 
on a horse on the transom of the boat. 

It need hardly be said that all sails must 
be kept close in to their masts, for otherwise 
great loss of power will result. This has 
always presented more or less difficulty 
with lug sails. The simplest and com- 
monest method of overcoming it is by 
an iron ring travelling on the mast and 
also hooked to the yard. All those, how- 
ever, who have had experience of this 
method, agree that it is imperfect ; the 
ring being liable to jam. A number of 
schemes have been recommended in its 
place ; each person is inclined to regard 
his own invention as the best, and some 
us so. It is found, however, that a system invented by and 
working admirably with one person, often fails altogether to 
satisfy another. The diagram illustrates one or two of the 

Clyde Lug. 

so as far as to tell 



schemes generally found useful. A shows 
a device recommended by Mr. Davies 
("Boat Sailing for Amateurs"), B is 
the plain ring, and C a plan often em- 
ployed with success. In the last the line 
D, after passing round the mast, hangs 
loosely until the sail is set up, when it is 
tightened, thus bringing the yard close 
to the mast, and in lowering there is 
little fear of jamming. But the beginner 
with lug-sails will do well to obtain from 
some fisherman or waterman information 
as to the various methods of forming 
& parrel, and having done so, he is at 
liberty to make use of the one he finds 
most convenient. 

Lugger. — A boat rigged with lug sails. They are of various 
types and common to most of the northern countries, being mostly 
employed by fishermen 
on account of their 
extreme handiness. 
They may be single- 
masted, two-masted or 
three-masted, and often 
set top-sails. The sails 
employed in these ves- 
sels, which often reach 
a considerable size, are 
either standing or dip- 
ping lugs. Of all lug- 
gers in the world, those 
of the town of Deal are 
thought to hold the highest reputation; but all along the coasts they 
are worked in a manner often wonderful to see, and go out to sea 
when no other boat could live. 

Lumper. — One employed in the loading or unloading of a 

Lurch. — A heavy roll or jerk to one side. 



Mad. — The term applied to the state of the compass needle 
when its polarity has been injured. 

Made. — Made block. — A block the shell of which is composed of 
several parts, (See BLOCK.) 

Made eye. — A Flemish eye (which see, under Eye). 

Made mast. — A mast made of several parts, as the lower mast of 
a large vessel. {See Mast.) 



Mail. — Mail boat. — A boat carrying letters, etc. From the 
following it will be seen how the term came into use : " Mail 
(French, malle). — A word which signified originally the bag 
containing letters forwarded by Government for the public con- 
venience, but it was soon afterwards extended to the letters 
themselves, and it is now used also for the conveyance in which 
ttiey are forwarded." 

Main.— In all rigs of vessels the word main applies alike to the 
principal mast and the principal sail it carries. In a ship we find 
the main mast rigged with the main shrouds, main stays, main 
halyards, etc. , and carrying the main sail (called the main course), 
which is bent to the main yard. Above tliis rises the main -top- 
mast with the main-top-sail, the main-top-gallant mast with the 
main-top-gallant sail, and the main-royal mast with the main- 
royal and sky sails. The position of the main-mast varies in 
different rigs, as given under the heading Mast. 

Main halyards. — The halyards (ropes) which elevate the main 
sail. In fore-and-aft or gaff main sails (those stretched on a gaff) 
the throat halyards — those 
attached to the throat of the 
gaff — are usually called the 
main halyards, to distinguish 
them from the peak halyards, 
which elevate the peak of the 
gaff. But both these may 
be included under the one 
term " main halyards." (See 
diagram. ) 

Main sheet. — The rope 
working the main sail. In 
square-rigged ships it is the 
aftermost (for the time being) 
of the ropes attached to the 

clews of the main course, the weathermost being the tack. And 
when the ship goes al>out these two change their names. The main 
sheet of a fore-and-aft rigged vessel runs through a block attached 
to the after end of the boom, if there be one, or otherwise to the 
clew of the main sail, and through another block on deck, which 
may be fixed or travel on a horse, the number of times it parses 
through these blocks depending upon the power required to work 
the sail. In large racing yachts the purchase is enormous ; and 
a system of tackle upon tackle being employed, the main sheet 
assumes the form of almost a network of rcpes. 

Main stays. — The stays which support the main mast. Thus 
we find in a ship the main stay, running from the main- 
mast head forward to the base of the fore-mast ; the main 
shrouds, and the main backstays. Upon the mainstay is set 
the main -staysail. There are also the main-tqp-mast stay and 
stay-sail, etc. 




Main and foresail rig. — This term 
is employed for want of a better. 
Its meaning will be obvious ; a boat 
is rigged with a large main sail and 
foresail, or possibly with a jib. The 
rig is frequently applied to the racing 
boats known as half-raters. 

Main and mizzen rig. — This is a 
rig frequently seen in small boats, 
on account of its general handiness 
for all seasons, and it is peculiarly 
adapted to very long boats. The 
rig consists of a mainsail, which may 
be a balance lug and a mizzen, with 
or without the addition of a foresail. 
Mr. Christopher Davies in his "Boat 
Sailing for Amateurs " makes various 
remarks upon the utility of this rig 
and of a variety of it in which the 
mizzen works with the tiller, much 

bar^ ***** ™ Y " ** ^^ ° f & MAIN AND MIZZEN ' 

Main deck. — The principal deck on a vessel having several decks. 
(See Deck.) 

Main yard men (old term). — Men on the sick list. 

Slake. — An expression signifying " to reach " or " attain to." 
Thus, to make a harbour is to reach it ; to try and make any object, 
to try and reach it. 

Make headway. — To move forward, generally expressed as against 
some difficulty, as against a head-wind or tide. 

Make water. — To leak. 

Making of the tides. — The tides are highest and lowest about new 
and full moon, when they are called spring tides, and smallest at the 
intermediate times (first and last quarters of the moon), when they 
are known as neap tides. From the period of neap to that of spring 
tide, therefore, the tides must be increasing in strength and volume, 
and are then said to be making. (See Lagging of the Tides.) 

Mal-de-mer. — A malady which often overtakes those unused to 
the motion of the sea. 

Man. — To place the right complement of hands upon a ship or 
any part of it. 

To man a boat. — To place in her her full number of rowers. 

To man the yards. — To range the people on the yards, rigging, 
etc., of a vessel, either in honour of some person or in commemora- 
tion of some event, as a salute. 

Man-hole. — A hole in an engine's boiler, or elsewhere, through 
which a man can crawl when necessaiy to examine the inside. 

Man-ropes. — A general name for ropes used in ascending a ship's 
sides, hatchways, etc. 


Manly. — A terra sometimes used by the fishermen to describe the 
seaworthiness of a vessel. If she is handy and a good weather boat 
she is said to behave herself " like a man," or in "manly " fashion. 

Manilla. — " A valuable cordage made in the Philippines, which 
not being subject to rot does not require to be tarred." (Smyth.) 

Mariner. — Anciently, a first-class, or able-bodied seaman. 

Mariner's compass. (See COMPASS.) 

Marines. — A corps of men serving something like soldiers on 
board a vessel of war. They are sometimes called the " jollies," in 
contradistinction to the name " johnnies, " given to the bluejackets. 

Marks — Marks and dips, or deeps. — Certain divisions on the hand 
lead-bine to show depth at a glance or by feeling. (See Lead.) 

Mar-line. — Small bine, composed of two strands very little 
twisted. It may be either white or tarred. Mar-bine is commonly 
used in parcelling a rope — that is binding canvas round it, to 
prevent its galling. It is also the material employed in securing 
the bolt ropes to large sails by a peculiar system of knots called 
marling hitches, instead of sewing. 

Marling. — To marl. — To wind any small line, as mar-line, 
spun line, etc., round a rope in such a manner that every turn it 
takes is secured by a sort of knot. It is thus much safer than mere 
whipping, for if one lap wears through the others still hold. The 
art of marling must be learned from some fisherman or waterman. 

Marling spike. — A pointed instrument of iron used to open the 
strands of rope when splicing, marling, etc. 

Maroon. — " To put one or more sailors on shore upon a desolate 
island, under pretence of their having committed some great crime. 
This detestable expedient has been too often practised by some 
inhuman commanders of merchant ships, particularly in the West 
Indies." (Falconer.) 

Marry. — To join ropes together, as it were in the bond of 
matrimony. Thus :— 1. (In splicing rope.) To join one rope to 
another in such a manner that the join may be reeved through a 
block. 2. (In working ships.) To marry ropes, braces, or falls. 
— To hold two such ropes together, and, by pressure, to haul in on 
both equally. 

Marry at' s code. — The code of signalling for many years used 
at sea, but now superseded by the International Code. (Sec SIGNALS.) 

Martello towers. — The name given to the small circular forts, 
or towers, met with along the East and South-East coasts, and placed 
there in view of the meditated and 
boasted invasion of England by 
Bonaparte. " The name is usually 
supposed to be derived from a fort 
in Mortella (Myrtle) Bay, Corsica, 
which, after a determined resistance, '"".: 
was at last captured by the British ~~ 
in 1794." Martello Tower. 


Martingale— The rope extending from a jib boom end down- 
wards to a dolphin striker ; its office being to stay the jib boom in 
the same manner as the bobstays stay the bowsprit. (See diagram 

Martnets. — In square rig, small lines fasten ed to the leech of 
a sail reeved through a block on the mast head and brought down 
on deck, their use being to bring the leech of a sail to its yard to be 
furled. This is called topping up on the martnets. 

Mast. — "A long piece, or system of pieces, of timber, placed 
nearly perpendicularly to the keelson of a vessel to support the 
yards, or gaffs, on which the sails are extended. When a mast is one 
entire piece, it is called a pole-mast ; but in all large vessels it is com- 
posed of several lengths, called lower, top, and top-gallant masts — 
sometimes a fourth, called a royal mast, which, however, is usually 
in one piece with the top-gallant mast." (Brande and Cox.) Under 
this heading it may be most generally useful to describe the gear em- 
ployed to support the mast and top-mast of a cutter or yawl yacht, 
referring the reader to the figures (opposite), and where technical 
terms are made use of, to the definitions under their respective head- 
ings. A mast is said, when set up, to be stepped, because its foot is 
fitted into a step, or chock, the office of which is to distribute the weight 
of the mast over as great a part of the keelson as may be possible. 
It is held upright to the level of the deck by a framework called 
the mast-case ; and is further strengthened, on the deck itself, by a 
frame called thepartners. The lower portion of the mast is usually 
square, this part being called the housing, because it is housed, or 
enclosed in the mast case. The mast is not, however, fitted very 
closely in its framing, but, on the contrary, is allowed a little play 
in these parts, in case they, or the deck, should swell or become 
strained, and press upon it, a possibility which might be attended 
by serious consequences ; it depends, in fact, for its support upon 
its shrouds and stays. In sucli craft as certain barges, or the 
Norfolk wherries, not only is the stowage room usually occupied 
by the mast housing required for cargo, but beyond this there is the 
constant necessity to lower the mast in passing under bridges. The 
mast is, therefore, set up on deck, its housing working in a casing 
called the tabernacle. The mast being stepped, is now to be rigged. 
At a short distance from the mast head are the hounds, otherwise 
called the cheeks, on Avhich the shrouds rest (supporting the mast 
laterally), together with the back-stays,y\\\ich prevent it from falling 
forward, and the fore-stay, which keeps it from falling backward ; 
all of these serving to hold it securely up. That part of the mast 
from the deck upwards to the hounds is called the hounding : the 
part above this is the head. The shrouds communicate with the 
shroud plates, often called the channels, on the vessel's sides, by 
means of lanyards, rove through the dead eyes, which enable them 
to be made taut. The back stays with their tackles run further 
aft ; while the fore-stay runs down to the stem-head. Just above 
the hounds, and supported by them, are the trestle-trees, which, in 



their turn, are short pieces of wood running fore and aft and bearing 
the cross trees. The cross trees give lateral support to the topmast. 
At the mast head projects an iron ring, called the cap: through it 
the topmast runs ; and between the trestle trees is usually another 

► Trwe*. 

The Parts of a Mast. 

Various Masts. 

ring, called the lower cap, or yoke, answering a like purpose. The 
topmast is placed forward of the lower mast, and thus runs up 
between the trestle trees and in the caps. When raised so that its 
heel is just above the level of the cross tree, a bolt of iron, the fid, 


is passed through a hole at its heel called the fid-hole : the fid rests 
upon the trestle-trees, and on it the whole weight of the topmast is 
carried. The topmast is then said to be fidded. The topmast 
fidded, requires staying. A short distance below the truck are 
small cheeks, placed there, as on the lower mast, for the reception 
of the topmast shrouds and stays. The shrouds are stretched over 
the extremities of the cross-trees and brought down only a little 
below them, their ends being usually attached to ropes, called legs, 
which, by means of a purchase, serve to haul them taut. The reason 
why these shrouds are not brought down to the deck when the topmast 
is set (as are the main shrouds) is this : — if they came down to the 
deck when the topmast was up, they would be so long when it came 
down that it woxild be difficult to coil them out of the way ; whereas, 
by keeping them short they only just reach the deck when the top- 
mast is struck, and (the legs being detached) they can be comfortably 
stowed away. The topmast forestay prevents the topmast from falling 
backward ; it runs down from the mast head to the bowsprit head. 
The topmast backstays keep it back and belay, therefore, some dis- 
tance aft of the mast ; they can be slackened out as the sail swings 
over. Upon the lower mast, between the trestle-trees and the cap, are 
hung the various blocks through wdiich pass the halyards ; and, on 
the topmast, those for the topsail and jib topsail halyards. Such is 
the mast of a large yacht ; but many boats are without a topmast, 
as are the mizzen masts of yawls, and generally of ketches, these 
being, in fact, nothing more than poles ; and hence they are called, 
as above mentioned, pole-masts. 

Masts are variously named, according to the rig of the vessel : — In 
a full-rigged ship the masts are three in number, viz., the main, the 
fore, and the mizzen, the main being in the centre and the mizzen aft ; 
and as the ship appears to be the standard by which other vessels are 
compared, it would seem to follow that all vessels are, more or less, 
but modifications of it. Thus in four-masted ships there is one mast 
added, viz., the jigger (see below), and they carry, therefore, fore, 
main, mizzen, and jigger masts ; while one large German sailing 
vessel has five. The bark and the barkentine, like the ship, carry 
the three masts, the difference between these and the ship being in 
the modification of the rigs. In schooners, brigs, and brigantines, the 
mizzen has been cut off, leaving the two masts fore and main. The 
main is, in these, therefore, the after one. In ketches, yawls, and 
some barges, there are also two masts, but the fore has been cut off, 
leaving the main and mizzen, and here, therefore, the main becomes 
the forward mast. In cutters, sloops, and in many fishing craft, 
both fore and mizzen have been cut off, leaving only one mast, the 
main. Luggers have sometimes three masts and sometimes two, in 
the latter case, generally, the main and mizzen. 

There are also masts which constitute no general part of a vessel's 
rig; as jury masts, which are temporary masts, set up before the 
permanent masts are stepped, to take the vessel only a short dis- 
tance, or in place of one accidentally carried away. Barges are 



usually fitted with "juries" for getting up and down rivers when 
the bridges are so numerous that the main mast cannot be elevated 
between them : they are veiy often to be seen on the London river, 
between bridges. (See fig. under Jury.) A tow mast is one used 
in river and canal towing. (See under Tow. ) A jigger is a small 
mast or an extra mast. The small mast fitted to, and working 
with, the rudder of a barge, is sometimes called the jigger. In 
four-masted ships the fourth mast is the jigger-mast. (See above.) 

The following terms are used with reference to masts : — 

Spent mast. — A mast is said to be spent when it is broken in 
rough weather and rendered useless. 

Spring the mast. — A mast is sprung when it is broken or badly 
strained, though it need not necessarily be spent. 

Raking masts. — A mast set out of the upright is said to rake. 
Schooners, yachts, and steamboats have often raking masts ; with 
other vessels it is not so usual. The rake is generally understood 
to mean an inclination backward ; but on some occasions the inclina- 
tion is forward, when it is described as raking forward, or stayed 
forward. (See fig. under liAKE.) 

In the manufacture of masts the following terms are often 
employed : — 

Armed mast. — A mast made of more than one tree. 

Made mast. — A mast made up of several united pieces, in con- 
tradistinction to one consisting of a single piece or tree. Large 
masts are stronger made than of one pole, and less liable to spring, 
but for small vessels the pole is -the more elastic. 

Rough mast. — A spar fit to make a mast out of, or before the 
mast is made of it. 

Masts and other spars are sometimes seen to be apparently cracked 
along (or between) the fibres ; but this, though defective, does not 
materially affect their elasticity. Large knots, 
on the other hand, are sometimes dangerous ; 
and all holes, bolts, or screws, piercing the 
fibre, tend to weaken the spar. There is an 
old saying having reference to the masts of fore- 
and-aft rigged boats, viz., "Mainmast strong 
and topmast long." Old sayings are often true 

Mast hoops, or rings, sometimes called hanks. 
The rings, either of ash, cane, or metal, 
encircling a mast, and to which a lower fore- 
and-aft sail (such as the mainsail) is fastened. 
To these rings the sail is said to be bent on, 
down that portion of it called the luff, or weather 

Mast-rope. — Another name for the heel-rope 
(which see). 

Master. — The captain of a merchant vessel, 
who holds a master's or extra- master's certificate. 





Mate (in a ship). — Literally, the master's assistant. There 
may be in a merchant vessel as many as four or five mates ; they 
are officers under the captain. In the Royal Navy there are various 
mates, who are petty officers. 

Matthew Walker. — A stopper knot which takes its name from 
the originator. (See KNOTS. ) 

Maul. — A large iron hammer. 

Top maul. — A hammer with an iron handle used in large vessels to 
drive the fid in or out of a top mast, and for this purpose it is often 
attached to the mast head. 

Measurement of vessels. — The calculation of their capacities 
upon certain data. (See Tonnage, Displacement, Rating.) 

Member's flag.— A small flag displayed by a yacht belonging to 
any particular club, and the device on which is registered and 
numbered in the yacht club's books. Each member may have his 
own flag. (For its use see under BURGEE.) 

Mend. — To mend sails. — To loose and bend them afresh on their 

Meridian. — To put it into the roughest and simplest words, a 
meridian is a line round the earth at right angles to the Equator and 
passing through the spectator (who may be at any spot on the earth's 
surface) or any other point (as through Greenwich, which constitutes 
the Englishman's first meridian.) It is the circle upon which 
every navigator must reckon his latitude (distance from the Equator). 

Mesh.— The space between 
the lines of a netting. 

Mess (at sea). — A company 
of officers or men who eat or 
live together. 

Mess kid. — A wooden vessel 
for holding food. (See KlD and 

Messenger. — A rope which, 
being attached to a heavy cable, 
is hauled in by a capstan, the 
cable itself being too large to 
grip the barrel. The messenger 
is often attached to the cable 
by smaller ropes called nippers, 
and is then said to be nipped on. 

Metacentre (in hydro- 
statics and naval architecture). 

— That point in a floating body upon the position of which the 
stability of the body depends. 

Mete stick (on ship board). — A measure used in stowing the 
cargo in order to preserve proper levels. 

Metropolitan police. — The river police have jurisdiction over 
the Thames from Staines to the Nore. The offices of the company 
are at St. Mary's-at-Hill, London. 

> =£ --TSfftW^ 


Middle topsail, or lower topsail. — In square-rigged ships, one 
of the divisions resulting from the method adopted by C unningham, 
and others, of cutting the old style of topsail in half. It is the lower 
division, and therefore hangs between the topsail (the upper division) 
and the course below, from which circumstance it may with equal 
propriety be called either the middle or the lower topsail, while the 
two together are known as double, or Cunningham's topsails. (See 
also under Double Topsails. ) Smyth gives the following definition 
of another square sail which he calls a middle topsail : — " A deep 
roached sail set in some schooners and sloops on the heel of their 
topmasts, between the top and the cap." This is a remnant of the 
old rig of cutters, sloops, etc., which once carried square sails, and 
may still occasionally be seen in some of the Yorkshire billyboys and 
ketches. It is more fully described under the heading Ketch and 
in the note under SQUARE Rig. 

Midships. — The same as a'midships — i.e., in the middle portion 
of a vessel. 

Midship beam. — The beam upon which the extreme breadth of the 
ship is formed. 

Midship bend. — The broadest frame in a ship, called the dead flat. 

Midshipman. — The rank in the Royal Navy above the cadet. The 
lowest commissioned officer. Gentlemen's sons apprenticed to the 
sea in the merchant navy are also called, by courtesy, midshipmen. 
" Middy " is the popular abbreviation of this word. 

Midshipmen's nuts. — Biscuits all broken into pieces. 

Mile. — The sea or Nautical Mile = one sixtieth of a degree of 
latitude, and varies from 6,046ft. on the Equator to 6,092ft. 
in lat. 60°. 

Nautical Mile for speed trials, generally (?'?5? f ® e * , ., 
-called the Admiralty Measured Mile ... ... |£Jg **££ mlles 

Miller. — To drown the miller. — To put too much water into grog. 

Miss stays. — A vessel is said to miss stays when, in tacking, she 
fails to come about, and gets hung up in the wind. (For a fuller 
meaning of the term see under Tack.) 

Mitchboard. — A prop or stanchion with a semicircular groove 
cut into its upper end for the support of a boom when at rest. It 
is sometimes employed instead of a crutch to take the weight of the 
boom off the halyards. {See CRUTCH.) 

Mizzen. — (Fr., artimeno; Ital., mezzana). — The word applies to 
both mast and sails. 

Mizzen mast. — The aftermost mast in vessels of many descriptions, 
as described under the heading Mast. 

Mizzen sails. — Those bent to a mizzen mast. The following may 
be interesting as relating to the origin of the name " mizzen. " 
" The word occurs in Italian as mezzana, a lateen sail, and in 
French as mizaine, a foresail, and must be traced to the Latin 
medium, and the Greek mesos, its application arising from the mizzen 
sail in a galley being in the middle line of the ship, while the other 

N 2 



sails were carried across the deck." (Brande and Cox.) Our busi- 
ness here is with the mizzen as applied to yachts and sailing boats. 
In yachts its presence constitutes a yawl, and though apparently 
one of the most insignificant of the sails, it is yet one of the most 
useful ; for by its aid a vessel will stand up to the wind in a gale, 
though the mainsail be altogether lowered ; she can also get under 
weigh with it and a foresail ; and in large boats it saves the neces- 
sity of taking several hands. At the same time, however, the 
space occupied by the mizzen, where, in a cutter, the boom would 
extend some distance over the taffrail, precludes the possibility of 
the yawl rig being so fast as that of the cutter. In sailing boats of 
any great length the mizzen is found to be of the utmost value,, 
though not suited to those 
which are short. It also 
forms part of the main and 
mizzen and of the canoe rig. 
In barges and ketches it is 
always found ; the barge 
carrying one so small in 
comparison to the mainsail 
that one might well wonder 
that it can be of any service. 
Here, however, it is often 
set up on and works with 
the rudder, giving that 
member a double power over 
the long and often deeply 
laden hull. In the ketch 
it is a larger sail, some- 
times without a boom, and 
frequently surmounted by 
a topsail ; and in many 
fishing boats it is also 
found. The mizzen is, in a word, a useful sail, depriving the- 
vessel of some speed, but rendering her infinitely more handier 
than those in which it is dispensed with ; and one of its great 
advantages is that, to a great extent, it does its own work. 

Moderate- — Moderate breeze. — A breeze in which all sail can be 
comfortably set. 

Moderate gale. — A wind necessitating that all reefs be taken in to 
make all snug. 

Mole. — -A huge stone breakwater or sea wall. 

Monk's seam. — In sails, a seam sewn down the centre of the 
two seams by which the cloths of large sails are united. 

Monkey. — A weight, as that of a pile-driver. 

Monkey block. — A small single block having a swivel strop. "Also 
those nailed to the topsail yards in some ships, to lead the bunt 
lines. " 


Monkey forecastle. — A small elevated forecastle or anchor deck. 
(See diagram under Deck. ) 

Monkey spars. — Reduced spars. 

Monsoon. — The periodical trade winds of certain latitudes in the 
Indian Ocean. 

Moon-rakers, or moon sails. — In ships, square sails set above 
the sky sails. They are very rarely seen, and then only in the 
lightest winds. They come under the head of light sails {which 

Moor, mooring. — To moor is to take up a mooring, but some- 
times the same term is used to signify bringing a vessel to an anchor : 
and a vessel with an anchor out both ahead and astern is said to be 
moored ; as she may also be when both anchors are brought to one 
cable (as described under Swivel). A permanent mooring is an 
arrangement of weights or cross pieces of timber sunk below the 
ground under water. To these a chain is made fast and attached 
at the other end to a rope, and that rope to a buoy. Boats 
lying habitually in one harbour have moorings in it. 

When a sailing boat desires to take up her mooring, she comes up to 
it, if possible, head to wind and tide ; but as neither winds nor tides 
accommodate themselves to the convenience of individuals there are 
various methods of doing this which only experience can teach. 
This is, indeed, one of the nicest and most difficult feats presented 
to the amateur in everyday work. Presuming, however, that the 
bow of the boat has been brought to a standstill just over the 
mooring (which, after all, is the whole end of the matter), the buoy 
is picked up and taken aboard, and the chain also brought aboard 
and shackled, or belayed, round the bowsprit bitts, when the boat is 
.secure. It is important to remember, in taking in the buoy-rope, to 
bring as much in as possible before belaying, as if there be any way 
on the boat and not sufficient rope inboard, that already secured 
may be torn out of the hands. 

To slip the mooring is merely to let it go, the buoy always show- 
ing where it may be found again. 

To moor by the head. — To ride with two or more anchors down 
by the head. 

Mooring for a fair berth. — Mooring in a place of safety ; spoken of 
ships coming to an anchorage. 

Mooring for east and west. — Anchoring according to the run of. a 
tide or high wind, so as to keep out of danger. 

Mooring block. — An object to take the place of an anchor. The 
sunken stone or wooden baulks which form a permanent mooring 
are sometimes thus called. 

Mop. — A broom with a cloth head, always useful on board. 

To mop along is a slang term often used of a sailing boat, to 
express the fact that she moves quickly. 

Mortar vessel. — Under the old system of naval warfare, 
a vessel carrying a heavy mortar. 




Mother Cary's chickens. — A name given by seamen to the 
birds known as stormy petrels, or storm birds (Procellaria pclagica). 
These are able by the help of their wings to walk, as it were, upon 
the water. 

Mother Cary's goose. — Another of the same family, only consider- 
ably larger (P. gigantea). 

Mould. — In shipbuilding this term has a meaning peculiar to 

To mould is to draw out in their proper dimensions the several 
parts of a ship, for the guidance of the builder. 

Moulding dimensions, as applied to any piece of timber, are its 
depth or thickness. 

Moulded breadth is the measurement across the skeleton of a vessel 
outside her timbers (ribs); not across her planking, for that is not 
supposed to exist when the moulded breadth is spoken of. 

Mount. — Expressed of a battleship — as " she mounts twenty 

Mouse. — A mouse. — A thickening made in part 
of a rope. " A knot or knob wrought on the outside 
of a rope by means of spun-yarn, parcelling, etc., 
as the knot wrought on the stay of a ship which 
prevents the collar from closing round the mast 
head." (Falconer.) 

To mouse a hook. — To pass a yarn or fox round a 
hook to prevent it from clearing itself of whatever it 
may be fastened to. 

The Mouse. — An important bank of sand in the 
estuary of the Thames, on the margin of which is 
placed the Mouse lightship, 
which has a green light re- 
volving every twenty seconds, 
and gong. 

Mud pattens.— Boards to 
be fastened to the feet, for 
walking on very soft mud. They 
are difficult for beginners to 
manage ; and it is best, there- 
fore, for anyone to take an oar 
or pole with him when necessity 
obliges him to put on mud 

Mudian, mugian, or 
Bermuda rigf. — A mudian is 
one of a class of boats origin- 
ating from the Bermudian 
Islands, and far more important 
in the history of yacht-build- 
ing than is often allowed. The Mudian Rig. 



Mudian Rig Modified. 

following were the main features of the true mudian : It was short, 
of considerable beam, and of great draught aft ; the stem post and 
keel combining together to form a deep curve. It had one mast, 
of extraordinary length, usually unsupported except for a jib-stay. 
The length of this mast is said to have sometimes reached two, 
or even three, times that of the keel. It set two sails, a main and 
a jib, the latter running out on a short jib-boom or bumpkin. The 
main- sail was triangular in shape, its head being taken up to the 
head of the mast, and its foot stretched on a boom extending far 
out beyond the stern. It is to this vessel that we are indebted 
for many of the improvements in- 
troduced in years past into the 
designs of our own fastest yachts. 
The Bermudians, says Smyth, 
" claim to be the fastest craft in 
the world for working to wind- 
ward in smooth water, it being 
recorded of one that she made 
five miles dead to windward in 
the hour during a race ; and 
though they may be laid over 
until they fill Avith water they 
will not capsize." AVe occa- 
sionally see rated racing boats 
rigged Bermuda fashion, though the height of the mast is never 
such as that spoken of above. At one time the rig was popular 
in a modified form, the main becoming a sort of leg-of-mutton 
sail (ivhich see) ; and for beginners, who may have the opportunity 
of choosing the class of boat they will take up, probably no safer 
or more instructive rig could be recommended. Another rig hailing 
from the same islands, and having two masts, is described under 
the heading BERMUDA RlG. 

"Scud like a mudian." — From the above, the meaning of this 
expression will explain itself. It implies " be off quickly," or "as 
quickly as a mudian." 

Muffle (oars). — To put soft material round the leathers of oars 
to prevent noise. (Only done in warfare.) 

Mugian Rig.— {See Mudian Rig.) 

Mumbleby or Mumblebee. — A name applied by Brixham 
fishermen to a boat midway in size between a hooker and a trawler. 

Muntz metal. — A substitute for copper, in the sheathing of the 
bottoms of vessels. It answers well and is much less expensive 
than copper, but cannot compare with it as a permanent covering. 
It is an alloy of copper and zinc. 

Muster. — To assemble together for the purpose of resuming or 
commencing work. The word would properly appear to mean the 
calling over of names, as from a muster-roll. 



Nab. — A reef of rocks below water. The name of such a reef off 
the east of the Tsle of Wight, marked by the Nab lightship (which 
shows a double flash every 45 sees.), often spoken of in yacht racing. 

Nails. — Clincher Haifa have square shanks. They are driven and 
withdrawn without splitting planks. 

Single deck nails.— Nails about 6 in. or 6 in. in length. 

Double deck nails. — About 7 in. long. Both these used in 
fixing large timbers, such as decks, carlines, etc. 

Ten-penny nails.— About 2J in. in length (originally tenpence 
per pound). 

Narrows. — Small passages between lands, submerged or dry, 
or between sands, as " The Narrows," a name met with in many 
rivers and estuaries. 

Nautical voile.— {See Mile.) 

Naval architecture. — " The science of designing the forms 
for 'vessels." It is, therefore, distinct from shipbuilding, which 
is " the application in practice of the theoretical designs of the 
naval architect." 

Naval cadet. — A gentleman's son training for service as a naval 
combatant officer. 

Naval crown (with the Romans). — "A crown of gold or silver, 
adorned with the figures of beaks of ships, which it was their custom 
to give as a reward to those who had first boarded an enemy's ship." 
Hence the naval crown has become a charge in heraldry. 

Naval reserve. — An auxiliary naval force, originally formed in 
1859, for men and officers. 

Naval hoods, or hawse-bolters (in shipbuilding). — Large pieces 
of thick timber above and below the hawse holes. 

Navel Futtock. — The ground futtock of the midship timber in a 
large vessel. 

Navigation. — That branch of science which teaches the sailor 
to conduct his ship from place to place. " To understand the 
principles of navigation and their practical application, it is necessary 
that the mariner should be acquainted with the form and magnitude 
of the earth, the relative situations of the lines conceived to be 
drawn on its surface, and that he should have charts of the coasts 
and maps of the harbours which he may have occasion to visit. He 
must also understand the use of the instruments for ascertaining the 
direction in which a ship is steered, and the distance which she sails ; 
and be able to deduce from the data supplied by such instruments 
the situation of the ship at any time, and to find the direction and 
distance of any place to which it may be required that the ship 
should betaken." (Brande and Cox.) 

Naze (Fr., ncz, a noze, as in Cap Gris Nez, a cape on the north 
coast of France). — A projecting piece of land, as Walton-on-the- 
Naze, Essex. (See also Nkss.) 



Neap. — Neap tides. — The lowest tides, taking place about five or 
six days before the new and full moons. Any influence, such as 
winds, and, as the fishermen say, frost, which tends to prevent the 
tide from reaching its expected height, is said to " neap " or " nip " it. 

To be beneaped is to be left aground by a receding spring tide, in 
such a position that the next tide does not take the vessel off, and 
she must, therefore, remain until the following spring tides. 

Neck. — 1. Of a gaff or boom, that part immediately belund the 
jaws, commonly called the throat (which see). 2. Of an oar, that 
part immediately before the blade. (See OAK.) 

Ness (Fr. nez, a noze). — A projecting piece of land, usually of 
low level, as Orford Ness, Sheerness, etc. (See also Naze.) 

Net. — Nettings. — Nets of rope, placed at various parts of a ship, 
either for stowage or for protection against danger. 

Torpedo nets. — A frame-work extended beyond and round a ship 
of war to prevent the entrance of projectiles under water. 

Nettles, or knittles. — Another name for a species of reef- 
points. (See Knittles.) 

News. — " Do you hear the news?" " a formula used in turning 
up the; relief watch." (Smyth.) That is (in other words), the cry 
with winch those who have completed their watch summon those 
whose duty it is to relieve them. 

Night watches. — " Night was originally divided by the 
Hebrews and other Eastern nations into three watches. The 
Romans, and after them the Jews, divided it into four, the first of 
which began at sunset and lasted until about 9 p.m., the second till 
midnight, the third till 3 a.m., and the last terminated at sunrise. 
The ancient Gauls and Germans divided their time, not by days, 
but by nights ; and the people of Iceland and the Arabs do the same 
at this day. The like was observed by our Saxon ancestors." At 
sea the difference between night and day is not taken into account, 
and the night watches are the same as the day. (See WATCHES.) 

Nip (of a cable or hawser). — To secure 
it with a seizing. 

Nippers. — Certain lengths of rope 
fastening the cable to the messenger. 

Selvage nippers. — Rope rings used 
when the common nippers are not 
strong enough to resist a strain. 

Nip the tide. (See under Neap.) 

Nock. — In sail-making, " the fore- 
most upper corner of gaff-sails and of 
a jib-shaped sail having a square tack. " 
These jib-shaped sails with square tack, 
as if a large piece of the foremost point 
had been cut off, are now rare, though 
occasionally seen in the stay sails of old «>3 
vessels. In them the nock runs down *~- «i , 
the forward mast as shown in the figure. — >/' 



Nock earing. — The rope fastening the nock of a sail. 

Nog. — A treenail driven through the heel of a shore (the shore 
being a timber supporting a vessel on the slips). The shore is then 
said to be nogged, and the operation is called nogging. 

Noggin. — A small cup or spirit measure of about a quarter of a 

No higher (in steering), no nearer to the wind. With reference 
to the helm this actually means "a little more high," i.e., that the 
boat is getting a little too close to the wind, and that, therefore, the 
helm should be put a little up, or towards the wind. "No higher" is, 
therefore, equivalent to helm up, bear up, etc. (See under HELM. ) 

No man's land. — In ships, a space amidships, but neither on 
the starboard nor on the port side, from which circumstance the term 
is supposed to be derived. 

No nearer (Fr., pas au vent). — The French is more explanatory 
of this term than the English. It is practically the same as no- 
higher ; being an order to a steersman not to go so close to the wind 
as to decrease the speed of the vessel. A boat may be capable of 
sailing very close to the wind, and on occasions this is a very useful 
quality, but she will make more speed by being kept a little off. 
If speed is desired, therefore, and the boat is getting too close to the 
wind, it will be well to keep her " no nearer," or " no higher." 

Noose. — A running knot. 

Nore. — An important spit of shifting sand at the mouth of the 
river Medway, in the Thames estuary, and at the head of which is 
placed the well known Nore lightship, displaying a light revolving 
once in every 30 sees. It is the first passed on leaving the Thames. 

Norfolk Broads. — A tract of land on the east side of Nor- 
folk and Suffolk, penetrated by three main rivers — the Yare, the 
Waveney, and the Bure — of which there are various tributaries. 
These rivers widen 
out in parts into 
large meres or 
open spaces called 
broads, whence 
the name of the 
district. This is 
the happy hunting 
ground of shoot- 
ing-men and ama- 
teur yachtsmen, 
and of those who 
love an open space . 

Norfolk wherry. -*■— *=^- 
— A sailing barge £6&Yienr 
peculiar to the FlG - *• 

rivers of the " Broads " district of Norfolk and Suffolk. The hull 
is pointed bow and stern, but the bow is to be distinguished by the 



eye, which is a white patch painted somewhat in the form of a boat's 
transom. (See fig. 1.) The wherry has one mast, and carries only 
one sail (being, in fact, the parent of the popular una rig), the peak 
of which is carried up to a great height, so that when the vessel 
penetrates into the upper reaches of the rivers where the trees over- 
hang, and the banks are high, this peak may rise above them, and, 
by thus catching the wind, bring it down into the body of the sail, 
acting, in fact, in exactly the same manner as the topsail of a 
cutter. And, indeed, it may be shown {see fig. 2) that though the 
Norfolk wherry actually sets no topsail, its spread of canvas is 
equivalent to that of craft which do: by hiding (in the fig. ) the 
right-hand or cutter mast we have the wherry sail ; by hiding the 
left-hand or wherry mast, we 
have the main and topsail of the 
fishing bawley or yacht. The 
size of the wherry sail is also 
capable of increase by the addi- 
tion of a bonnet, laced or but- 
toned along its foot, and always 
used with fair winds. ( See fig. 1 . ) 
Except in this instance, the 
bonnet is almost obsolete. The 
mast of the wherry works in a 
tabernacle : it is without shrouds 
or any support beyond the fore- 
stay, which stay also acts as a 
fall for lowering and elevating 
it. The wherry is a very close- 
winded vessel, carrying a power- 
ful weather helm, and is unsurpassed on its own waters, though 
experiments have shown it to be unsuccessful elsewhere. Its- 
burden may range from 30 to 60 or more tons. It does the greater 
part of the carrying trade of the district ; and of late years, steam 
has been applied to it with tolerable success. 

Norman. — A short bar thrust into one of the holes in a capstan, 
so that a turn may be taken. 

North. — The principal of the four cardinal points of the com- 
pass, and on the mariner's card usually marked by an ornamented 
arrow head or a fleur de lys, to distinguish it from all the others. 

Northing. — The difference of latitude made by a ship in sailing 
northward ; or, in other words, the distance towards the north made 
by her in a specified time. 

Norwegian. — Norwegian 
skiff. — A boat of peculiar form 
and wonderful buoyancy. (See 


Norwegian yawl. — A Scan- 
dinavian sailing boat, yawl Nokwkgian Ship's Boat. 

Fig. 2.— Norfolk whkrky. 



rigged, and notable for its buoyancy. It is said 
to be the parent of the peter boat (which j sec) . 
Smyth speaks of it as follows : — " This, of all 
small boats, is said to be the best calculated for a 
liigh sea ; it is often met with at a distance from 
land, when a stout ship can hardly cany any sail." 

Nose. — The iron piece protecting the stem-head 
of an open boat. From this, the foremost point 
of the boat itself is sometimes called the nose. 
(See accompanying figure, also diagrams under 
Fkame. ) 

Nothing off. — To keep a boat nothing off, 
is to keep her head right on, or up to the wind. 
{See also under Helm.) 

Nun buoy. — A buoy in the shape of a double 
cone. (See fig.) 

Oakum. — The substance to which old ropes 
are reduced when unpicked. It is used in caulking 
the seams of boats, and in stopping leaks, etc. 

Oar. — By this is understood, to-day, the single 
oar, handled by one man alone, in contradistinction to 
sculls, which go in pairs, both being handled by the 
same person. The oar is longer, and, therefore, a more 
powerful lever than the scull ; but it is found in practice 
that a given number of men propelling a boat by sculls 
make considerably greater speed than the same crew 
using oars. The propulsion of a boat by means of oars 
is called voicing : when sculls are tised it is no longer 
rowing, but sculling. This distinction is of importance 
to those who would wish to be correct in their rowing 
phraseology. Sweeps are long oars used by sailing-boats, 
barges, lighters, etc. (See Sweep.) The oars used by 
fishermen are very long and heavy, with very long 
inboard. They are difficult to use, but immense power 
is to be gained with them. 

The parts of an oar, scull, or sweep are as follow 
(see fig.) : — A is the blade, the curve in which is called the 
Jcather. At sea oars are usually without the feather ; but 
in smooth waters it is almost invariable. B is the neck ; 
C the loom ; D the grip. By some, the whole distance 
included from blade to grip is called the loom, if not fitted 
with a leather. E is the leather. F the button. The 
loom of an oar or scull may, of course, be shortened, but 
it may also be lengthened some inches in the following 
manner. The head of the grip being pared off quite 
flat, a hole is bored down it into which a piece of hard 

Nun Buoy. 







wood (or in its place a double-threaded bolt) is firmly fitted. Anew grip 
is then made, in which a hole is also bored, and this is fitted or screwed 
on to the old grip, the joint being further secured by the aid of glue. 
This is frequently done on the Upper Thames, and is found to answer 
well if the substance of the oar or scull is stout enough to admit of it. 

It may be well to warn purchasers of second-hand oars or sculls 
to be wary of those with newly painted blades ; the paint is 
occasionally put on to liide flaws or knots. 

Back oars. — To press backwards on the oars so as to stop the pro- 
gress of a boat. It is usually called backwater (which see). 

" Get your oars to pass. " — An old expression signifying that the 
oars should be got ready for rowing. 

Lay on the oars. — To pause in rowing and lay the oars flat just 
above the water. It is the same as to 

Rest on the oars, or, in other words, to take a rest in rowing. 

Out oars. — To get oars out ready for use. 

Ship and unship oars. — To ship oars is to place them in the row- 
locks ready for use : to unship, to take them out of their rowlocks 
and replace them in the boat or elsewhere. (See Ship.) 

Shove your oar in. — To intermeddle ; as, Don't shove in your oar, 
i.e., Don't meddle. 

Toss oars. — To lift them up into the air, all together, as is often 
done in the Royal Navy, either as a salute or preparatory to shipping 
or unshipping. 

Oase. — See Ooze. 

Ochre. — A reddish chalk used by shipbuilders in marking timbers 
when forming them. 

Off. — 1. In general nautical conversation this word means 
" away from the shore," thus : " the wind is blowing off " signifies 
that it is blowing off the shore. " The vessel is standing off " 
describes her as withdrawing from the land. 

Offward, or off, is often expressed of a vessel aground which mav 
cant " offward, " or lie " with her stern off. " 

2. It may also mean near to or abreast of, as " we lay off Dover. " 

Off and on. — Nearing and withdrawing, as with a ship tacking, 
which stands " off and on the shore " alternately. 

Off the reel. — At once, quickly. Just as the log Line would hut 
off the reel. (.See Log.) 

Off the wind. — Sailing with the wind abaft the beam. (Compare 
this with On the u;ind. ) 

Offing. — Those aboard vessels lying in a bay or harbour speak of 
the offing, meaning thereby the outside sea, where the water is deep 
and the force of a gale is felt. It may, under other circumstances , 
denote any part of the sea at a distance. 

To keep a good offing is to keep well off some shore. 

Nothing off. — To keep a boat right on, that is, as near to the wind 
as she will bear. 

Oil. — " Oil on troubled waters. " — It is a well-known fact that a 
few drops of oil dropping from a bladder placed over a ship's stern 


will smooth the surface of the sea, where the waves are breaking, 
and prevent them from overrunning her, the reason being that the 
friction of the wind upon the waves is reduced. A treatise upon its 
use will be found in Lloyd's " Seaman's Almanac," 1897. 

Oil-shins, or oileys. — ' Oileys " is the fisherman's term for oilskin 
clothes, used in rainy or rough weather. These men sometimes make 
their own "oileys," and formerly always did so; but of late years 
they have become cheap enough to save the necessity of doing this. 
The manner in which these suits were made was very simple : having 
been cut out of coarse calico, and made up, they were steeped in 
linseed oil and then hung out on a bine, being constantly reversed 
until quite dry. This was generally done in the spring, to allow 
the oil ample time to diy before the following winter, it often 
taking several months. Everyone boating or yachting during the 
winter should be possessed of a suit of oilskins 

Oil motors (for boats). — These are coming considerably into 
vogue, but have to compete with both steam and electricity. There 
is no doubt, however, that their convenience is very great, and 
that their future is very promising. The advantages of oil over 
steam should be freedom from soot, economy of space, and the 
capability of getting up power in a few minutes. Against this 
there is smell (though it cannot be said that the steam engine is want- 
ing in this respect), and especially want of power. A small steam 
engine of, say, 6 horse power nominal, may, upon emergency, be 
pushed to 12, or even 18 h.p., and becomes a very powerful machine. 
An oil-motor, on the other hand, of 6 h.p. nominal can never be 
made to reach even its nominal power. The power of oil motors is 
expressed in brake horse power — that is, in the power actually given 
off from the flywheel : about 20 per cent, must be taken off this to 
arrive at the actual working power. Priestmans' or the Daimler 
patterns of oil motor appear to be as good as any, but it is im- 
possible, in the face of daily improvements, to recommend any one 
over another. Oil motors have been successfully applied to launches, 
North Sea fishing vessels, small open boats, and even to lifeboats. 

Old boats. — Beware of them. 

Old horse.— Old salt beef. (Sec Horse.) 

Oleron.— Laics of Oleron. — "Certain laws of the Navy or 
Marine which were framed and drawn up by Richard I. at the island 
of Oleron, near the coast of Poictou, the inhabitants of which have 
been deemed able mariners for these seven hundred years past. 
These sea laws, which have been reckoned the most excellent of the 
kind, are recorded in the Black Book of the Admiralty." 

On. — The opposite to "off." So the wind may be "on the 
shore " — i.e., blowing towards it. In sailing we may have the wind 
on the beam, on the bow, or on the quarter, terms which will explain 

To be on. — To be in the act of doing something. Thus we may 
say, " There is a high sea on." 


To be sailing on the wind is to be sailing with the wind before the 
beam, and therefore close-hauled. (Compare this with Off the wind.) 
In square-rigged ships this is called sailing on a taut bowline. 

On end. — The same as " an end" — i.e., the position of any spar 
when standing upright, or when set, as a topmast which is " an 
end " when swayed and fidded. 

End on. — Meeting a vessel on end. (See END-ON.) 

"One, two, three and belay!" — The song with which the 
seamen bowse out the bowlines ; the last hauling being completed by 
" Belay oh !" 

Ooze. — The thin mud which settles along the banks of certain 
rivers. It is so light as almost to float, and is sometimes of un- 
fathomable depth. 

Open. — Open boat. — A boat absolutely without decking. 

Open hawse. — A clear cable (when a vessel is riding by two 
anchors. ) 

Open roadstead. — A hazardous refuge, offering but poor protection 
to vessels. 

Open sea. — The same as the high sea — i.e., beyond the three mile 
limit over which a country claims jurisdiction. 

Opposite tacks. — Two vessels, one on the port tack, the other 
on the starboard, are said to be on " opposite tacks." Hence, in 
general conversation, when two persons are at cross purposes, the 
same is often said of them. 

Ordinary seaman. — " The rating of one who can make him- 
self useful on board, even to going aloft, and taking his part on a 
topsail or top-gallant yard, but is not a complete sailor, the latter 
being termed an able seaman." (Smyth.) 

Orient — The East ; or the eastern point of the horizon. 

Orlop (from " over-lop."). — Orlop beams. — Beams in a ship, ex- 
tending across the lower part of the hold, and therefore often 
called hold beams. (See diagram under Frame.) They sometimes 
support that which is called the orlop deck, which may be the lowest 
deck in a ship, or a temporary platform forming a sort of deck. In 
the old warships certain of the store rooms were on this deck, and, 
in frigates, the midshipmen's berth. 

Out. — In the offing : at a distance. Away from the shore. 
Thus " there is a good breeze out " means that there is a good breeze 
out in the offing, though it may not be felt on shore. The vessel 
is standing out," she is sailing away from the shore. 

Outside has something of the same meaning, and implies " out at 
sea " : generally spoken by those in a harbour or river, as "it blows 
hard outside, " which would mean that it was blowing hard at sea, 
though not, possibly, felt in the haven ; or " we are going outside," 
we are going outside the river into the sea, etc. 

Out board. — Board means the side of a vessel, therefore "out 
board" means outside her, or beyond the gunwale. Thus a bow- 
sprit runs outboard, etc. 


Out-class. — One vessel is said to " out-class" another when, as a 
result of more modem improvements, she is greatly superior to 
another in her own class. 

" Out or down!" — A threat sometimes used at sea hy one sum- 
moning another to his watch — " Out you get, or down goes your 
hammock !" 

Out-haul. — A rope which hauls out something, as the jib outhaul 
does the tack of the jib. (See 3 IB.) 

Outer jib. — One of the head sails of a ship. (See Jib.) Large 
vessels usually set two standing jibs, the outer and the inner. 

Outlielcer, or outlier. — Corruptions of outrigger (which see). 

Out port. — A port on the coast of the united Kingdom away 
from London, or from a ship's headquarters. 

Out-regan. — A canal or ditch navigable by boats. 

Outside planking. — The outer strakes of a vessel, which are 
variously named, as the garboard strakes, wales, etc. (See diagrams 
under FRAME.) 

Out of trim. — The state of a ship not properly balanced in the 
water. (See Trim.) 

Outer turns and inner turns. — Expressions used with regard to 
square sails. " The outer turns of the earing serve to extend the 
sail outwards along its yard. The inner turns are employed to bind 
the sail close to the yard." (Smyth.) 

Out-rig. — To extend anything out from the side of a vessel ; hence, 

Outrigger. — A projecting piece from any part of a vessel, which 
serves to give greater leverage or base to oars, ropes, sails, etc. 
(See also CHANNELS. ) Thus a small boomkin (or bumpkin), such as is 
often used for the working of a mizzen, is sometimes called an out- 
rigger. The term, however, has a more familiar application in the 
case of rowing boats, and more especially those used for racing. 
In these, outriggers are light projecting brackets supporting the row- 
locks, and giving a vastly greater length of leverage for the oars or 
sculls. On rivers they are now always employed, and of late years 
have often been adopted in pleasure skiffs, when, however, they 
project in a lesser degree and are known as half-outriggers: but 
these skiffs are less convenient in crowded or narrow waterways 
than those Avhich are in-rigged, that is, which have the rowlocks 
(or tholes) on the gunwale or saxboard. A boat fitted with out- 
riggers is usually called " an outrigger." (See diagram under Rig.) 

Outward bound. — A ship on its voyage away from home. 

Ouvre l'oeil. — " Amarkon French charts over supposed dangers. " 

Over. — Over ancnt. — " Opposite to." Thus a boat lying at 
Gravesend may talk of another " over anent " Tilbury Pier. 

Over-bear. — One vessel overbears another if she carries more sail 
in a fresh breeze. 

Overboard. — Over the side of the ship. The " board," in nautical 
phraseology, means the side. 

Overblow (of the wind). — To blow so hard that a vessel can carry 
no topsails. 


Overcast. — 1. (Of the weather). — Cloudy: the , sun not seen. 
2. In ship-building, to overcast is to measure up — hence, 

Overcasting staff. — A measuring staff used by ship-wrights. 

Overfall. — The eastern-county name for certain banks or shoals 
near the surface of the sea, such as Blakeney Overfall ; Sherringham 
•Overfall ; Stuky Overfall, near the Norfolk coast. Also another 
name for a tide-rip or race (ivhich see). 

Overgrown. — A term occasionally used for an exceptionally high sea. 

Overhand (in knots). — A simple knot made by passing the end 
of a rope over its standing part, and then through the bight. It 
may also be called a thumb-knot. (See Knots.) 

Hand over hand (In hauling on a rope). — Hauling in quickly and 
■with one hand passed alternately over the other. 

Overhaul. — 1. To examine or inspect. 

2. To catch up or overtake. 

To overhaul a rope. — To slacken it off. 

To overhaul a tackle. — To open out or extend its parts — that is, 
its blocks and ropes — so that they may be made use of again, 
when they have been brought close up, or fleeted. 

Over-launching. — Scarfing or splicing one timber over another to 
strengthen the two. 

Over-masted. — A boat is thus described when her masts are too 
long, which in yachts is not of rare occurrence. In such cases 
masts are cut down, and often with great benefit to the boat. 

Over-pressed. — A vessel carrying too much sail. 

Over-rake (of the waves of the sea). — When the waves break over 
a vessel at anchor they are sometimes said to over-rake her. 

Over-rate. — A racing yacht or sailing boat is said to be over-rated 
when she is too much handicapped. Hence, a person of whom too 
high an opinion is held, is spoken of in the same manner. 

Over-rigged. — Spoken of a vessel having more or heavier gear 
than necessary. 

Over-risen. — Too high out of the water. 

Over-run. — When the waves overtake a vessel and come in upon 
her, they are said to over-run her. 

Over-sea. — From a foreign port. 

Over-shoot. — To give a vessel too much way, so that, in coming up 
to a mooring or pier, she misses the mark and shoots beyond it. 

Over and under turns (of square sails). — Terms applied to the 
passing (securing) of an earing. There are also the outer and inner 
turns, etc. 

Ox. — Ox bows — Bends, or reaches, in a river. 

Ox-eye. — A name given by mariners to a small cloud or meteor, 
seen at the Cape of Good Hope, etc., which presages a dreadful 
storm. It appears at first in the form or size of an ox's-eye, but 
descends with such celerity that it seems suddenly to overspread the 
whole hemisphere, and at the same time forces the air with such 
violence, that ships are sometimes scattered several ways, some 
•directly contrary, and many sunk downright. (Falconer.) 


Oyster. — Oyster-laying. — A place, either in the sea or in some 
river, where oysters are hred or fattened. 

Oyster dredge. — The implement with which the " dredger man " 
drags the bottom of a " laying " for oysters. In old days he often 
accompanied his labours by a monotonous chant, Avhich also served 
to charm the oysters into his dredge. Hence the old lines : — 
" The herring loves the moonlight, 
The mackerel loves the wind ; 
The oyster loves the dredgerman's song, 
For he comes of a gentle kind." 


Packet. — A small passenger or mail boat. " This word meant 
originally a vessel appointed by Government to carry the mails 
between the mother country and foreign countries or her own 
dependencies." (Brande and Cox.) 

Pad, or pad-piece. — A piece of timber laid (when required) upon 
the beams of a vessel to form the lateral curve (or camber) in the 
form of the deck. (See diagrams under Frame.) 

Paddle. — The oar or propeller used by canoeists, and having 
its origin among savage nations ; it may have a blade at one or both 
ends. To paddle, therefore, in canoeing, is to propel the boat with 
the paddle. 

Paddle boat-hook. — A boat-hook and paddle combined. It forms 
part of the inventory of an Upper Thames pleasure skiff, and is a 
very useful implement. {See Bo AT-HOOK. ) 

To paddle in rowing with oars or sculls has another meaning, 
viz. : to row easily, i.e., not at a high speed. 

Paddles (on a steam boat). — Tbe flat boards on the propelling 
wheels ; though the wheels are occasionally spoken of as the paddles ; 
and the coverings over the wheels are called the paddle boxes. 

Paddle boat. — A steam vessel propelled by paddle-wheels. 

Paddy's hurricane. — A dead 
calm ; or, at best, a breeze in- 
sufficient to float a pennant. 

Painter. — A rope attached 
usually to a ring inside the stem- 
post of an open boat, by which it 
may be made fast alongside a 
quay, etc. 

" Cut your painter." — A slang expression for "Be off ! " 

Pair-oar. — A boat rowed by one pair of oars. It was also the 
name sometimes given to the old London wherry. 

Palm. — In sail-making, a contrivance for taking the place of a. 
thimble, and used by seamen and sail-makers. It fits the ball of the 
thumb and palm of the hand. 

Palm of an anchor. — The flattened side of the fluke. {See ANCHOR. > 



Pandoor. — A huge foreign oyster. 

Parallel sailing (at sea). — Sailing on a circle parallel to the 

Parallels of latitude. — Lines drawn round the earth parallel to 
the Equator. 

Parbuckle. — A method of lifting a cask or some other heavy 
object, by doubling a rope into two legs, passing them under the 
object and hauling on both together. 

Parcel. — To parcel rope. (See Worm, Parcel and Serve.) 

Farclose. — The limber-holes in a vessel are occasionally called 
by this name. 

Parliament- heel. — " A term used to imply the situation of a 
ship when she is made to stoop a little to one side, so as to clean the 
upper part of her bottom on the other 
side, and cover it with a fresh composi- 
tion." (Falconer.) But the term often 
means only a slight heel, as when a 
vessel lays over under canvas. 

Parrel. — Generally speaking, any 
apparatus which keeps a yard to its 
mast. Thus the parrel of a gaff is a 
rope upon which is strung a row of 
hard wooden balls and encircling the 
mast, the ends being attached to eacli 
jaw of the gaff. (See fig. 1, also under 
Gaff.) The parrel of a lug sail may 
be either an iron ring on the mast or 
a loop made in the halyard. (See 
Lug.) The rib-and-truek parrel was 
a device often used in old ships, and 
may still be occasionally seen. It con- 
sisted of a number of battens or ribs, 
between each of which a series of 
trucks (small wooden balls) were 
strung (see fig. 2.). The lines being 
unreeved, these parts would fall into 
a number of disjointed pieces. Hence 
the term "ribs and trucks " is some- 
times used to mean mere fragments. 

Fart. — To part. — To be driven from the anchors; said of a ship 
when she breaks her cable. 

Standing part and running part. — Parts of a rope in use. (See 
under each heading and under Tackle.) 

Partners.— The framework which supports the mast by the 
deck. (See Mast.) 

Pass. — A term used by seamen to express the accomplishment of 
something, as to pass the gaskets, topass a lashing, i.e., to take turns 
with a rope round a yard, etc. 

O 2 

Fig. 2. 


Fasse volant. — " A name applied by the French to a quaker or 
wooden gun on board ship ; but it was adopted by our early 
voyagers as also expressing a movable piece of ordnance. " (Smyth.) 

Passenger.— A person carried in a ship, but who does no work 
in her. Persons taken in pleasure boats are sometimes called thus, 
and if, in the course of a rowing match, any rower becomes disabled 
he is said to have become a passenger. 

Pattens. — {See Mud Pattens.) 

Pawl, or drop pawl. — A small stop, or catch, which prevents a 
moving object from going beyond a certain Limit, such as the pawl of a 
rack wheel, which stops the wheel from running backward ; the pawl 
of a capstan, which acts in the same manner ; a mast pawl, which con- 
fines a lowering mast in its place ; a rowlock pawl, which may be a 
metal catch or merely a piece of rope across a pair of rowlocks pre- 
venting an oar from being dislodged, etc. 

Pawl bits. — Timber to which the pawls of a large capstan are 

Pay. — To give a coating of paint, tar, or any other material to 
anything requiring it. Thus a ship's bottom may be payed with 
pitch ; a rope with tar ; a spar with grease, etc. So also topay a 
seam of the decking of a vessel is to pour melted pitch into the 

Pay away. — To slacken off; usually said of a rope, or the sheet of 
a sail, when it requires to be loosened out. 

Pay off. — 1. In the Royal Navy, to pay the men's wages and 
dismiss them. 2. In sailing, to allow a vessel's head to fall a'lee — 
i.e., away from the wind. Thus it is under some circumstances the 
same as pay away — except that it refers directly to the boat and not 
to any particular part of her rigging. Sometimes, in tacking, a boat's 
head refuses to pay off : at such times she may be assisted by 
holding the headsails to windward. If she does not then come 
round she becomes "hung up in the wind." {See Tack.) 

Pay out (of a cable or any other rope). — To 
slacken it out. Almost equivalent to pay away. 
Sometimes to pay out means to slacken away 
gradually, bit by bit, instead of letting the rope 
or cable go off as it will. 

Pay round. — To turn a vessel's head round, 
away from the wind, as in paying off. 

Peak.— 1. The upper end of a gaff. But it 
is also the uppermost corner of a sail carried 
by a gaff. 

Peak halyards are the halyards which elevate 
the peak. They usually consist of a tackle. 
The rope being first secured to the gaff at a 
point not far distant from the peak, passes 
through a block at the mast head, thence to 
a block lower down the gaff, back again to Peak. 



another block on the mast, then down to the deck, where it is 
belayed in small craft, usually to the port (left-hand) side of the 
mast. The pendants of the peak halyards are those parts of the 
rope which run between the mast and the gaff. When the mainsail, 
having been lowered, is to be covered with the sail cloth, these 
pendants must be detached, and either hooked to slings or strops 
which pass under the boom, or looped round the boom as it rests 
on the cratches. 

Peak line.— A. small rope passing through a block at the guy end 
of the gaff. It is sometimes called the flag halyard, because the 
ensign or some other flag is often hoisted at the peak as a signal. 
The peak line is also much employed to haul down the peak when 
the gaff jams. 

Peak purchase. — In large vessels, a purchase applied to the peak 
halyards to swing them up taxit. 

2. The peak, on the fluke of an anchor, is the apex of the fluke. 
It is often called the bill. (See Anchor.) 

The anchor a'pcak. — The anchor brought to such a position that 
it stands perpendicularly on the ground. (See ANCHOR.) 

To stay peak, or ride a short peak or long peak (of old ships). — 
When the cable and forestay were in about the same straight line 
it was a short peak. With the main stay and cable in a line, it was 
a long peak. 

To peak. — To raise a yard or gaff obliquely to its mast. 

Fore peak. — A place in the fore part of some small vessels in 
which stores may be kept. 

Pegging to windward. — Making a dead peg to windward. 
The same as working to windward. (See under Beat. ) 

Fencel. — A small stream- 

er, wheft, or pennant. 
Pendant, or pennant 

(pronounced " pennant "). — 
1. A long pointed flag, 
usually a signal, as the 
answering pennant in the In- 
ternational Signal Code, or 
the eonimodore's broad pen- 
nant in the Royal Navy. 

2. (In rigging.) — It must 
be understood that a hal- 
yard is often a tackle, the 
ropes of which are often 
distinguished into two parts 

Commodore's Bro«.i "P«,C 

-(1) the pendant, or that Tftckie. 

part which runs between 
the blocks, and (2) the fall, 
which is the part hauled 
upon. Thus the fore pendant 
Is that part of the fore 

PcncLcLTtt - 


halyard which runs out from the mast-head to the stemhead, when 
the foresail is down. The jib pendant.— The same out-running 
part of the jib-halyard. Peak pendants. — Those parts of the peak 
halyards which run out between the masthead and the gaff. And, 
since these parts of the halyards are called pendants, so may the 
bob-stay ropes be counted in the list, which includes several — and, 
in ships, a large number of others. 

But there are also other pendants, which are short hanging ropes, 
un connected with blocks, used for a variety of purposes, as reef 
pendants — short lines sometimes rove through cringles on the 
leech of a sail at the time of reefing, or sometimes hanging per- 
manently, their office being to lash down the clew of the sail, prior 
to reefing. And, in this sense, the tack, which is a short rope 
hanging from the tack of a fore-and-aft sail, for hauling the tack 
down, is also a pendant. 

People. — At sea, a ship's company was always known by this 
term, more particularly in the Royal Navy ; but it did not include 
the commissioned officers. 

Peter boat. — A row and sailing boat, short, pointed bowandstern, 
almost half-decked, and having a sort of well in which to keep fish. 
It is used by the fresh-water fishermen of the Thames. Formerly 
there was a considerable fishery for smelt, lamprey, and various 
fresh and salt water fish above and 
below London, and these peter boats 
were largely employed. Of late years, 
however, although a few are to be seen »_ <A 
in the upper reaches, they are becoming 
scarce. (See also under HEBBING. ) The 

below-bridge peter boats were of larger 4» <?,.-"■ 

size than those used higher up, but of '? -~. -1^ petrrSoa-f 

the same class. The peter boat is so 

named after St. Peter, the patron of fishermen. They originate 
from Norway and the Baltic (see Norwegian Yawl), where they 
are said to have been no more than 25ft. in length, with 6ft. of 
beam. "Yet," says Smyth, "in such craft, boys were wont 
to serve out seven years' apprenticeship, scarcely ever going on 

Peter man. — 1. " One who fishes in the river of Thames with an 
unlawful engine." (Bailey, 18th century.) 2. " The Dutch fishing 
vessels that frequsntsd our eastern coast." (Smyth.) 

Pharos. — In popular language, a lighthouse ; but the word has 
almost gone out of use. It was derived from the great light tower 
erected on the island of Pharos at the mouth of the harbour of 
Alexandria, and which came to be looked upon as one of the 
wonders of the world. 

Pick. — Picking up a wind. — Going out of one's course to find a 
wind. The practice is common with sailing ships when passing from 
one trade wind to the other. 


Pickle. — Any artificial preservative or preparation for metal or 
wood. Iron is pickled, that is, steeped, in sulphuric acid and water 
before being galvanised. Wood may be payed with a coating of 
ereasote or sulphate of copper, which preserves it against wet or dry, 
barnacles, etc. ; and this also may be called a pickling. 

Pier. — Piers may be either of wood, iron or stone, and are 
erected either to facilitate the landing of passengers and goods from 
vessels ; as breakwaters ; or solely as pleasure promenades. Those 
made of stone are often called moles, more especially when of great 
width. Of the first sort the pier of Southend, at the mouth of the 
Thames, may be noted ; it is the longest in the kingdom, probably 
in the world. At Tynemouth is a long stone pier, or narrow mole, 
which serves as a breakwater at the mouth of the great northern 
river. Pleasure piers are to be found at Brighton, Hastings, and 
other seaside resorts. A small pier, at which goods may be landed 
from barges and such like craft, is sometimes called a jetty (which 
see). Piles are sometimes called piers because they support a weight, 
as do the piers, or pillars, of a church. 

Pig (of iron). — Pig iron is very useful as ballast for a sailing boat, 
and has this advantage, that it is cheap. 

Piggin. — A little pail with a long handle. It may be a baler 
or what not. 

Pike. — A bar of iron, or a bar of wood shod with iron ; origin- 
ally used in boarding an enemy's vessel. In military affairs it 
was used until the introduction of the bayonet. 

Pil, or pyll (perhaps from the Dutch). — " A creek subject to 
the tide." 

Pile. — A piece of timber or iron, driven, with others, into the 
ground or into the bed of a river, for the support of a pier, bridge, 
etc. The following is mainly from Brande and Cox's " Dictionary of 
Science, Literature, etc. " : " They may be round or square, and when 
of wood must be of a quality which does not rot under water, or 
which is able to resist the attack of the Teredo navalis, and other 
boring worms or insects. Oak, elm, fir, hacmatac, green-heart, 
etc., are the woods most generally employed for the purpose. The 
end of the pile that enters the ground is, in these cases, pointed and 
shod with iron ; and the top of it is bound with a strong iron hoop 
to prevent the piles being split, or their heads beaten up to a 
kind of pulp, by the violent strokes of the monkey by which they 
are driven down. Iron piles are now much used, and they are made 
large enough to allow the foundation to be carried down to the 
bottom of their penetration . " 

1. Pile-driver. — "An engine for driving piles. It consists of 
a large monkey, or block of cast iron, which slides between two 
guide posts. Being drawn up to the top of its course, and then 
let fall from a considerable height, it comes down upon the 
head of the pile with a violent blow, proportioned to the weight 
of the monkey multiplied by the height, diminished, of course, 



by the friction that the monkey meets with in its descent." It 
may be worked by hand or by steam : the monkey is lifted with a 
catch-hook, which, as it reaches the top of the machine, is caught 
by a spring and disconnected, thus allowing the weight to drop 
automatically. In some cases, where the nature of the soil will 
allow of it, screw piles are employed. These are round iron piles 
to which are fitted large screw flanges ; and the pile being turned Try 
machinery screws itself to the desired depth. Southend pier, at the 
mouth of the Thames, is supported entirely upon screw piles, a 
distance of a mile and a quarter. 

2. Pile-driver (of ships). — A name given to a vessel which pitches 
heavily in a sea way. 

Pilot. — A man qualified and licensed to take ships in or out of a 
harbour, or channel, at certain fixed rates. The pilot is absolute 
master of a vessel while in " pilot water " — the latter term meaning 
the water in which he pilots the ship— his fees being calculated upon 
the ship's draught of water. The origin of the pilot's office is to be 
found, according to Wedgwood, in the word peilen, to sound ; his duty 
before the existence of charts being to navigate bis vessel by means 
of the sounding lead. 

Pillars. — In ship-building, pieces of wood or iron supporting the 
decks in some vessels, and acting as the columns of a church. 

Pillar of the hold. — A main stanchion with notches in it, which 
may be used as steps in descending to the hold. 

Pillow. — A block of timber whereon the inner end of some spar, 
such as the bowsprit, is rested. 
Pin. — Of a block, the axle. 
Belaying pin. —A pin, forming a sort of 
cleat, round which a halyard or any other 
rope may be belayed. In a yacht or sailing 
boat several of them will be found around 
the lower part of the mast, in the spider- 
hoop, for the belaying of the halyards. In 
larger vessels they are often fitted into a 
bar or fife-rail at the side of the boat, or 
across the shrouds, when they may also 
be called jack-pins. But they may be 
placed wherever convenient. 

Pin doivn. — 1. (In sailing). When the 
sheet is hauled in too close, and the 

boat's head is kept too close into the eye of the wind, she is said 
to be pinned down, and the consequence is that she makes little 
or no way. Beginners are too apt to pin their vessels down in this 

2. A vessel is said to be pinned down by the head when her 
head is low down in the water, either on account of an excess 
of weight forward, or, if at anchor, when her cable is too 


Finch-gut money. — An expression used by merchant seamen 
for money paid to them, in certain vessels, at the end of a voyage, 
to the value of such stores as they were entitled to hut have not 

Pingle. — An old name for a small north-country coasting vessel. 

Pink. — In the Dutch fisheries, a two-masted boat of the ketch 
type. (See Dogger.) " A name given to a ship with a very 
narrow stern. Those used in the Mediterranean Sea differ from the 
Xebecs only in being more lofty and not sharp in the bottom ; they 
are vessels of burden, have three masts, and carry lateen sails." 
(Falconer, 1790.) 

Pinnace (in the Royal Navy). — An open boat propelled usually 
by oars, though in modern times some have been fitted with engines, 
working either by steam, electricity or oil-gas. The boat ranges 
from 28 to 32 feet in length, and is used for general purposes. 

Pinrack (at sea). — A rack or framework on the deck of a 
vessel, consisting of blocks and cleats for the working of ropes. {See 
Rack. ) 

Pintles. — The pins on a rudder which fit into the goodgeons, or 
eyes, on the stern-post of the boat. (See Rudder.) 

Piracy.— Felony on the seas or in harbour. Various acts are 
now enumerated as piracy, such as violence, boarding against the 
will of the master, etc. (See CORSAIR.) 

Fitch. — The residuum of boiled tar. It is valuable both for 
preserving the planks of new vessels and for hiding the defects of 
old ones. 

Plain sailing.— (See Sailing.) 

Flank. — Planking (in shipbuilding). — The covering of the ribs of 
a hull with planks disposed in strakes ; in other words, the skin of a 
ship. (See FRAME, ) 

Plank on edge. — A slang or jocular term for a very narrow boat, 
supposed to resemble a plank on its edge. 

Plankshccr, or planlcsharc (the sheer plank). — The outermost 
plank of the deck, or, in other words, the plank in a deck which is 
nearest the side of the vessel. It usually overlaps the sheerstrake 
and has apertures cut along its sides to admit of the timber heads 
(the head of each rib) projecting through it. It is usually of hard 
wood ; sometimes of handsome wood, such as mahogany, and in 
these cases adds considerably to the appearance of the deck. 

Plate. — In shipbuilding, usually a flat piece of iron. Thus 
channel plates are flat bars fastened to the sides of a vessel, and 
bent over the channels where those exist, or taking their place 
where they are dispensed with. (See CHANNELS.) 

Backstay platen. — Smaller bars than the channel-plates, and fixed 
to the vessel's sides further aft than those, to take the tackles of 
the back-stays. They are usually so set as to follow the line of 
the stays, so that there may be no lateral strain upon them. 


Futtock plate. — A large plate at the heads of the masts in 
large vessels, to take the shrouds of the top-mast. (See under 

Play.— The motion of all the members of the frame of a vessel 
as she sails. (See Give. ) 

Fledge. — A string of oakum used in caulking. 

Plug.— Boats intended for beaching often have a hole cut 
through the bottom to let out any water which may accumulate in 
them. The stopper to this hole is called the plug, or bung : it 
may be either a cork or a patent screw-plug. 

Plumb. — Perpendicular. 

To plumb. — To test the perpendicularity of anything, just as 
carpenters do, Avith the plumb-line and weight ; the weight actually 
being the plumb. 

Plummet. — The name sometimes given to the leaden weight 
attached to the lead-line (which see). 

Ply (from " apply "). — To ply an oar is to row. 

To ply for hire, as with watermen, to seek or ask for hire. 

Point. — In geography, a projecting cape, as Portland Point. 

To point a rope. — To untie the ends, take out a portion of them, 
and weave a sort of mat round the diminished portion so that it 
may easily go through a hole, etc. 

To point a sail. — To fix the reef points. 

Point the yards to the wind. — With square-rigged vessels, to brace 
the yards sharp up when the vessel lies at anchor, so that they may 
not receive the impulse of the wind. 

Points of the compass. — The thirty-two parts into which the card of 
the mariner's compass is divided. (See Compass.) 

Cardinal points. — The four main points of the compass— North, 
South, East, and West. 

Reef jioints. — Short ropes hanging from small eyes across a sail, 
to secure part of the sail in reefing (ivhich see). 

Folacre (Fr.). — " A ship with three masts, usually navigated in 
the Mediterranean : each of the masts is commonly formed of one 
piece, so that they have neither tops nor cross-trees ; neither have 
they any horses to their yards, for the men stand upon the top-sail 
yards to loose or furl the top gallant sails, the yards being lowered 
sufficiently down for that purpose. These vessels are generally 
furnished with square sails upon the main mast, and lateen sails 
upon the fore and mizzen masts. Some of them, however, carry 
square sails upon all the three masts, particularly those of Provence, 
in France." (Falconer.) The class is practically extinct. 

Pole. — A rod used for pushing a boat along. For large craft, 
such as barges, it should be a " richer " ; that is, a young tree in 
itself, not made out of a plank. There are various poles : the 
barge-pole, the quanting pole, the punting pole, etc. The quanting 
pole, or quant, as it is generally called, is peculiar to Norfolk. (See 



under Quant.) The punting pole is much used up river, 
hoth on the Thames and elsewhere : it requires some 
experience to work properly. 

The pole of a mast. — The upper end of the highest mast, 
which rises ahove the rigging. 

Pole mast. — A mast complete in itself ; that is without 
the addition of a topmast : such is the mizzen of a yawl, 
or the mast of a lug-sail-boat. Many of our river barges 
have only pole masts. (See fig.) 

Under. bare poles. — Having no sail set (only spoken, in 
general, of square-rigged ships). 

Scudding under bare poles. — Running before the wind 
without any sail set. {See SCUD.) 

Police {River Police). — {See Metropolitan Police.) 

Ponent. — Western. 

Pontoon. — "Anciently, square-built ferry boats for 
passing rivers, as described by Cassar and Aulus Gellius." 
A low, flat vessel, a number of which being placed together 
may carry a bridge, as some of those over the Rhine, etc. 
A portable boat. fr-^ 

Poop. — Properly an extra deck on the after part of a ■ 
vessel. (Sec diagrams under Deck.) "When raised over 
a spar deck it is sometimes called a round house. Mast^f 

Poop royal. — " A short deck or platform over the after- Bahge. 
most part of the poop in the largest of the French and 
Spanish men of war, and serving as a cabin for their masters and 
pilots. This is the top gallant poop of our ship-wrights, and the 
fore-mentioned round house of our merchant vessels." (Smyth.) 

Pooping. — To be pooped. — When a sea comes over the stern of a 
vessel it is said to ''poop" her. The effect of being pooped in an 
•open boat will naturally be either to swamp her, or very nearly so. 
The importance, then, of keeping before the sea, when running, 
need hardly be enlarged upon. It may be accomplished by crowding 
on sail, but this can only be done with judgment. 

Pooping sea. — A wave which threatens to run over a vessel is thus 

To poop another vessel. — To run the bowsprit of one vessel under 
the poop of another. -_ 

Poppets. — Timbers used in 
launching a vessel. Also small 
pieces on the gunwale of a boat 
forming the rowlocks. 

Popple. — A slang term for the 
roughness of the sea. When it 
blows there is said to be " a good 
popple on, "or & poppling sea, mean- 
ing that the sea is quick and short. 

Port. — The left hand side of the on the Port Tack. 

-vessel (sec fig. ). (See next page.) 


A'port. — Towards the port side, as "put the helm a'port," — i.e., 
put it over to the left-hand side. 

Port tack. — A vessel is on the port tack when the wind is blowing 
on her left-hand side {sec fig. on preceding page). In meeting or 
passing a vessel on the starboard tack that one on the port tack 
must give ivay — that is, pass astern, or by some other means get out of 
the way. This is one of the most important rules of the road— theport 
tack gives way. {See Rule OF THE ROAD, and STARBOARD Tack.) 

Ports, port-holes. — Openings in the sides of a vessel, as the round 
holes or windows so often seen in passenger steam-boats. 

Port flange. — A piece of Avood placed over a port. 

Port sills. — The planks of timber which lie horizontally in the 
framing of a port-hole, top and bottom ; like window sills. 

In port. — In harbour — the port in this instance being the destina- 
tion of a vessel. 

Port men. — " A name given in old times to the inhabitants of the 
Cinque Ports. The burgesses of Ipswich are also so called." 

Port mote. — A mote or court held in port (old term). 

Port reeve. — Like shire-reeve (sheriff), a magistrate having 
certain jurisdiction in a port (old term). 

Portfire. — A stick or ribbon of composition for communicating 
fire from a match to the priming of some weapon, as, in these days, 
to a rocket. 

Port last, or portoise. — The same as gunwale (old term). 

Wind a'port. — With the wind blowing from the left. With the 
wind a'port a vessel is, therefore, on the port tack. 

Portuguese man-of-war. — A name given to one of the 
acalcphcc of the tropical seas — the Physalis pelagica. 

Posted (old Naval term). — Promoted from commander to captain. 
Hence the term^ostf captain. 

Pouches. — In vessels which are laden in bulk, strong bulkheads 
(called pouches) are placed across the hold to prevent the cargo 
from shifting. 

Poulterer (on shipboard). — He whose business it is to look after 
such stock as the poultry, in consequence of which he is also known 
as " Jemmy Ducks." He has other duties besides, however. 

Prayer book. — A small flat piece of holystone which may be 
got into narrow crevices. A large piece of the stone is called the 
bible, because used in a kneeling posture. A smaller piece, the 
prayer book. 

Press. — To be pressed. — To be reduced to straits. In old days, 
to have been taken forcibly for Naval service. 

Press canvas. — The fullest amount of canvas a racing yacht can 
carry when ranning directly before the wind. {See under BALLOON 

Press gang. — In old days, a gang of men sent out from a ship to 
take men by force into service. 


Preventer. — An additional rope supporting another when that 
one is subject to unusual strain. Such are preventer braces on 
square-rigged ships, which strengthen or take the place of the usual 

Preventer bolts, in the preventer plates of large vessels. 

Preventer plates, broad plates of iron below the chains in large 

Preventer stay , or preventer back stay. — In fore-and-aft craft, a top- 
mast back-stay easily slackened when the main-sail swings over, 
from which cause they are occasionally called runners. {See diagram 
under CUTTER.) 

Prick. — To prick out on the chart (at sea) is to mark the course 
and situation of a ship on the chart, after making the proper 

Pricker, in sail-making, a small instrument with which to make 
holes in sails. 

Pricking sails.— A method once in vogue of strengthening old sails. 
It consisted in running a middle seam between the two seams which 
unite each of the cloths of it. The term may mean, however, merely 
the stitching of two cloths of a sail together. 

To prick for a soft plank. — To look out for an easy berth. 

Pride of the morning.— A misty dew at sunrise. 

Privateer. — The following is Falconer's account and definition : 
" Privateers are vessels of war armed and equipped by particular 
merchants, and furnished with commissions from the State to cruise 
against and annoy the enemy by taking, sinking, or burning their 
shipping. These vessels are generally governed on the same plan 
with His Majesty's ships. The commission obtained by the 
merchants empowers them to appropriate to their own use what- 
ever prize they make, after legal condemnation ; and Government 
allows them besides £5 (35 Geo. III. c. 66) for every man on board 
a man-of-war or privateer, taken or destroyed, at the beginning of 
the engagement ; and, in case we are at war with more potentates 
than one, they must have commissions for acting against each of 
them ; otherwise, if a captain carrying only one against the Danes, 
should in his course meet with and take a Frenchman, this prize 
is not good, but would be taken from him by any man-of-war he 
met, and could not be condemned {for him) in the Admiralty, as 
many have experienced." 

Prize. — In war time, any vessel taken at sea from an enemy. 

Proa. — A narrow sailing canoe of theLadrone Islands. It travels 
so swiftly as to have received the name of "flying proa." The 
boats of the Malays are also called proas. 

' Procession of boats. — Boats in procession. The sight is very 
pretty, and often takes place at night, each boat being illuminated 
or decorated. Of recent years these processions have been revived 
at Richmond, Kingston, Molesey, and elsewhere on the Thames, and 
should be seen by all who have the opportunity. 


Profile draught. — In the lines of a ship. " A name applied to 
two drawings from the sheer draught ; one represents the entire con- 
struction and disposition of the ship, the other her whole interior 
work and fittings." (Smyth.) 

Proof timber. — In the lines of a ship. " An imaginary timber 
expressed by vertical straight lines in the sheer draught to prove the 
fairness of the body." (Smyth.) 

Promenade deck.— (See Deck.) 

Prow. — The beak or pointed cut-water of a galley. 

Fucker. — In sail-making, a wrinkled seam. 

Puddening. — A wreath or circle of cording or oakum fastened 
round a mast to support the yards. They were employed in old 
battleships in case the ropes by which the yards were held were 
shot away. The lump of material was called the dolphin. A 
puddening was also laid round the ring of an anchor to prevent a 
hempen cable from chafing. And at the present day, a row boat's 
nose is sometimes puddened to act as a permanent fender, or a thick 
hempen rope may be carried entirely round the gunwale. This is 
not uncommon on the best Thames skiffs; while the Gravesend 
watermen's boats always have the nose puddened. 

Pull. — In rowing phraseology the Avord " pull" is generally used 
instead of the word row." 

Pant. — A flat-bottomed boat usually propelled by a pole. Of late 
years punting has become a very favourite amusement on the Upper 
Thames ; punt racing has been organized, and a champion has sprung 
up among us. Racing punts are of extremely light build, and, 
properly punted, may be made to travel at an extraordinary speed. 
The art of punting is by no means so easy as it looks. The pole is 
worked on one side only, the punter standing in one place, some- 
what forward. The principal fault to guard against, is that of 
letting the pole get under the boat, the consequences of allowing 
this to happen in a heavy punt being very unpleasant : care should, 
therefore, be taken in casting it to keep it well away. Various 
forms of punts have, of late, come into fashion, some propelled by 
sail, some by paddles, and others by sculls. Rough punts are also 
much used, in the upper reaches, for fishing. 

Puoys. — Spiked poles propelling barges or keels. (Smyth.) 

Purchase. — To purchase is to raise or move any heavy body by 
means of mechanical powers, as a tackle, windlass, etc. Hence the 
tackle itself has become known as the purchase ; and when a person 
is able, by its means, to get a steady pull upon anything, he is said 
to get " a good purchase. " 

Purchase blocks. — Those used in a tackle for moving weights. 

Purchase fall. — The rope of a tackle hauled upon. (See TACKLE. ) 

Purser (from purse). — " Formerly an officer in the British Navy, 
whose chief duty consisted in keeping the accounts of the ship to 
which he belonged ; but he also acted as purveyor. The title of 


this officer has heen, since 1844, paymaster." (Brande and Cox.) 
The title is still retained, however, in passenger ships. 

Purser's dip. — The smallest dip-candle (old term). 

Purser's grins. — Sneers. 

Like a pursers shirt on a handspike. — A comparison used in des- 
cribing clothes fitting very loosely. 

Purser's stocking. — A slop " article, and therefore capable of 
fitting any man, or, at least, of stretching itself to any man's fit. 

Put. — Put about. — To turn a vessel's head about so that the wind 
takes her on the other side ; in nautical language, called putting her 
on the other tack. (See Tack.) 

Put back. — To return to port for some reason after having left. 

Put into port. — To run into some intermediate port from stress 
of weather, or for any other cause. 

Put off. — To quit or push off from a pier or quay: to start on a 
voyage. ^ 

Put to sea. — To start on a voyage to sea. 

Puttock. — Another name for futtock (which see) ; but 
quite incorrect, for "futtock" is but an abbreviation of 
foot- hook, and " puttock " can claim no such origin. 


Quadrant. — The instrument once used in navigation, but 
now long since superseded by the sextant (which see). 

Quant. — Quanting is a method of punting a vessel peculiar 
to Norfolk. The quanting pole (called the quant) is long and 
fitted with head and toe pieces, as in the figure. It is used 
in ferry -boats and in the large sailing wherries belonging to 
the district, which have a narrow decking left each side of 
the vessel's hold expressly to enable a man to work the quant, 
the head of which he places against his shoulder, applying his 
weight thereto and walking the whole length of this deck. 

Quarter. — Literally, says Smyth, one quarter of the ship : 
but in common parlance applies to 45 degs. abaft the beam. 
In other words the quarters are those portions of the sides of Q UANT - 
a vessel about half way between beam and 
stern ; and, in their position aft of the beam, 
may be said to correspond with the bows, which 
lie forward of the beam. 

Quarter boats. — The ship's boats carried on 
her quarters. 

Quarter deck. — That portion of the deck 
covering the quarters. (See DECK.) 

Quarter fast. — A rope or hawser holding a 
vessel by the quarter. It is much the same as 
a quarter spring (sec next page). 

Quarter master. — One of the chief petty 
officers on board a ship. 


Quarter point. — A subdivision of the compass card = 2° 48' 45". 
(See Half Point.) 

Quarter slings. — Supports attached to the quarters of a yard (see 
below) . 

Quarter spring, or chain. — A rope or chain from a vessel's quarter 
to some other object. It is sometimes used in yacht racing when 
the boats start from a fixed point : on the firing of the gun the 
quarter spring is hauled upon, and the yacht's stern being thus 
canted in the required direction, she is enabled to fill her sails and 
make way.* 

Quarter wind. — Wind blowing on the vessel's quarter. 

Quarters. — The position in which men should place themselves 
when called to their duties. 

Quarters of a mast. — A term applied to some of the divisions 
on a large mast, where the diameters are set off for lining or 

Quarters of the yards. — Spaces into which yards are divided ; they 
are termed first, second, and third quarter, and the outer end or 
yard arm. 

Quay. — An artificial landing place. 

Queen (Queen's ship, Queen's parade, etc.). — For the sake of pre- 
serving the old and more permanent name, where these and lake 
terms are defined, they are placed under the heading King. 

Quick. — Quicksand. — Shifting or loose sand : as it were " living" 
sand. Quicksands may occur in patches on firm sand, without 
anything to mark their presence, or they may be whole banks of 
sand. Their depth is often unfathomable, whole ships disappearing 
into them 

Quick saver (in square-rigged ships). — " A span formerly used to 
prevent the courses from bellying too much when off the wind. " 

Quick work (in shipbuilding). — That part of a vessel's planking 
which is above the ivale. It is, in fact, part of her bulwarks. It is 
sometimes of deal, which, as it does not require the fastening nor 
the time to finish that other parts do, is called quick work. (See 
diagram under Frame. ) But Smyth gives the following : Quick work. 
— 1. All that part which is under water when she is laden. 2. 
That part of the inner and upper bulwarks above the covering 
board. 3. The short planks worked in between the ports. In 
general parlance quick work is synonymous with spirketting. 

Quid (of tobacco). — That piece of tobacco which may often be 
discovered within the mouth of a seafaring man. " Quid est hoc?" 
asked one, tapping the swelled cheek of his messmate. " Hoc est 
quid, " promptly replied the other. 

Quilting. — The application of a coating or jacket to some bottle 
to prevent it from breaking. 

* The terms quarter spring and quarter chain are sometimes abbreviated into 
the mere word quarter. 



Rabbet. — In shipbuilding, a groove or channel incised by a 
peculiar form of plane along a piece of timber to receive the edge 
of a plank. The word is derived from the French raboter, to plane. So 
in the making of a wooden ship the rabbet of the keel is a groove along 
each side of the keel made to receive the edges of the garboard (or 
lowest) strokes (planking). Similar rabbets on the stem and stern 
posts receive the ends of the ship's planking. The rabbet must be 
distinguished from the rebate (which see). 

Race. — Tide race, tide-rip, whorl or overfall. — "A strong rippling 
tide or current ; as Portland Race, which is caused by the projection 
of the land with the unevenness of the ground over which the tide 
flows, and which is one mile and three quarters long, in the direc- 
tion east and west. " At Alderney is another important rip. These 
currents or overfalls appear to be the result of uneven bottoms and 
cross tides. They are somewhat dangerous to small craft. A short 
description is given in the " Voyage of the yawl Bob-Boy." 

Rack. — 1. A frame of timber containing several sheaves or 
fairleads for ropes. In small craft almost any fairlead may be 
called a rack. Also a rail for belaying pins. 

Back sheaves. — A range of sheaves on a rack. 

2. To rack. — To seize two ropes together. Hence : — 

To rack a tackle (i.e., the ropes of a tackle). — To seize the two 
running ends together so as to prevent them from running out of the 
blocks; by which means any object suspended by the tackle is 
prevented from falling, even if the fall be let go. 

Backing. — The material (spun yarn or whatever may be used in 
its place) by which the ropes of a tackle are racked. 

3. Back. — The cloud above that which is called the scud. 
Raddle. — To interlace. 

Raft. — A group of any timbers attached together to form a float. 

Baft ports. — Square holes (a.port being a hole in a ship's side) in 
the bows or buttocks of timber-carrying vessels to allow of loading 
and unloading timber without taking it over the deck. They are 
often seen in Scandinavian vessels. 

Rag-bolt. — An iron pin With a number of gashes cut on its 
shank to keep it from slipping. 

Rails. — Narrow planks or bars placed in various parts of a 
vessel, as the fiferails, into which belaying pins may be fitted. 
(See Fifekail.) 

Taffrail. — The rail over the aftermost part of a vessel. (See 

Bough rails, or rough-tree rails. — The uppermost rails round a 
ship ; or any timbers placed temporarily on a vessel's sides, or else- 
where. (See diagram under Frame.) 

Bails of the dead. — Curved timbers on each side of a ship's stem 
supporting the headknees, etc. 

Raise. — " Baisc tacks and sheets." — In square rigged ships, an 
order given preparatory to bracing the yards round. 




Raise a mouse. — To make a mouse or collar on a stay. (See 
Mouse. ) 

liaise the witul. — 
To procure money 
(a shoreman's ex- 

Rake. — The sea- 
man's name for an 
inclination or slope : 
thus the rake of the 
masts ; the rake of 
the stem or stern, 
etc., will mean the 
inclination of any of 
these from the per- 
pendicular. Sometimes the run of a vessel 
is called the rake. As applied to masts, 
unless otherwise defined, raking implies a 
slant backwards. When they slant forward 
they are spoken of as being stayed forward 
or having a forward rake. 

To rake in old naval warfare was to 
fire into the head or stem of another rL-^iL^i^P 

Rakish (of a ship). — Having a smart appearance. Being a fast 

Rally. — To haul in rapidly. Spoken of a rope or tackle, as 
" Rally in the main sheet ! " 

Bam. — A massive projection under water at the bow of a ship 
of war. The ship herself is also called a ram. 

Ram's head. — An old name for a large main-halyard block. 

Ran. — In rope-making a reel of twenty yards. " Yarns coiled 
on a spun-yam winch " (Smyth). 

Randan. — A system of rowing with a pair of oars and a pair of 
sculls. The stroke and 
bow hands use the oars, 
the one in between them 
the sculls. This arrange- 
ment is found very con- 
venient by Thames 
watermen, the Custom 
House, the Thames Con- 
servancy, etc., and ex- 
tends from the locks as 
far down as Gravesend. A boat thus built is often called a randan ; 
it is a continuation of the style of the old Thames wherries. 

Range. — 1. At sea, the length of rope or chain required for 
any particular purpose, and coiled up ready for use. Thus, a 
sufficient length of chain (and usually a certain allowance over) 
drawn out on deck to allow an anchor to run out without 




impediment, so that it may get a good hold of the ground, is 
the range of the cable. 

2. On ship hoard, a large cleat in the waist of a ship is 
occasionally called a range. 

3. In gunnery, the distance any projectile "will travel from its 
gun, within which distance is called "within range." Also any 
distance decided for gun practice ; as a "one mile range." 

Rap. — Rap- full. — An order given to a helmsman in sailing ; 
thus, Keep her rap-full — Do not come too close to the wind, or 
" Lift a wrinkle of sail. " 

Rasin. — In shipbuilding " a member bolted to the wale and 
cut in for the deck carbines." (Winn.) 

Rasing iron. — Tool used by caulkers for clearing a vessel's seams. 

Ratchet, or ratchet wheel. — Awheel (usually accompanying 
a windlass) the rim of which is formed into large teeth and into 
which teeth a pawl drops so as to prevent the wheel from running 

Rate. — The classification of a vessel for certain purposes. Thus 
a vessel may be rated A 1 at Lloyd's ; or a yacht may be rated a 
10 tonner, or a 20 rater, etc. 

Rating (of yachts for racing purposes). — A manner of so measuring 
certain areas in yachts that boats of various forms and sizes shall 
compete on equal terms. It would be impossible in this place to 
enter into details of the various methods which have from time to 
time been employed, and to make any use of which, moreover, 
requires some knowledge of mathematics. Those, however, who wish 
to enter more fully into the subject may be referred to an excellent 
little article contributed by Mr. Dixon Kemp to Lloyd's " Seaman's 
Almanac," 1896. 

Ration. — A certain allowance of food 
served out to those on board a ship or elsewhere. 

Ratlines (pronounced "ratlins" or "ratt- 
lings") rattling down. — The name is possibly 
derived from a supposed resemblance to rats' 
tails. — Small lines crossing the shrouds of a 
ship and forming the steps of ladders. Fixing 
these ratlines to the shrouds, which is done by 
a simple seizing and clove hitches, is called rat- 
tling down the rigging. When they are placed 
too closely together they constitute that which 
is called, in derision, a lady's ladder." 

Reach. — In a river, the distance between 
two bends ; that is, in which the stream makes 
no decided turn. From this we have 

To reach. — To sail on the wind : as from one 
point of tacking to another, or with the wind 
nearly abeam (but always ahead of the beam). 
While reaching, therefore, a vessel makes no 
turn about. (See TACK.) 


"Ready about." — An order or command to stand-by (be 
ready) to put a vessel about, i.e., round on another tack. (See TACK.) 

Rebate (in shipwrighting). — A cutting-in on some timber, so 
as to allow another to fit into it. Thus a keel is often rebated where 
the floor timbers abut upon it. (See diagrams under FRAME.) The 
rebate must be distinguished from the rabbet (which see). 

Rechange. — The tackle and gear kept in readiness for emer- 
gency on shipboard. 

Reckoning. — (See Dead-Keckoning.) 

Recovery (in rowing). — The act of taking the oar out of the 
water after a stroke, and throwing the arms and body forward in 
preparation for another stroke. The recovery is deemed of the 
utmost importance in racing : it should be brisk and lively and full 
of swing ; not too quick, for that destroys the swing ; not too slow, 
for that allows the momentum of the boat to be deadened. 

Reef- — 1. (Of rocks.) A low ridge of rocks, usually beneath the 
surface of the sea. 2. (Of a mast.) To reef a topmast is to reduce 
its length and make a new fid hole. 3. (Of sails.) To reef. — To 
reduce the area of sail spread to the wind. Sails attached to yards 
(i.e., square sails) are reefed at the head by men going out on the 
yards. Gaff sails are reefed at the foot, as are also all staysails, jibs, 
etc. The method of reefing the sails of small craft is described 

Beef-bands. — Horizontal bands of canvas running across a sail, 
and perforated with holes or eyes, at intervals, to receive reef points. 
The holes are sometimes prevented from tearing out by having small 
brass rings, called thimbles or eyes, fitted tightly into them. With- 
out these bands the sail would be liable to rend from the strain on 
the points when reefed, though in very small sails the bands are 
often dispensed with. (See Sail.) 

Beef -cringles. — The eyes or loops in the bolt rope on the leech 
of a sail through which the reef-pendants are rove. (See fig. ; also 
under CRINGLES.) 

Beef-down. — The operation of re.efing, and more particularly of 
close reefing, is often called reefng-down, and a vessel sailing close- 
reefed is said to be " reefed-down." 

Beef earings. — The ropes attached to the cringles on the upper 
sides of a square sail, and by which the upper corners of the sail 
are secured to the yard preparatory to reefing. 

Beef knot. — In reefing a sail, its foot is furled up as high as the reef 
points, and these are lashed under it, the same knot being always 
used in doing this, from which circumstance it has become known 
as the reef knot. (See KNOTS. ) 

Beef line (in square rig). — A rope acting as an aid to men 
who are at the earings. 

Beef -pendants. — Short ropes rove through the cringles on the lower 
leech of a gaff-sail, and often through a hole in the boom-cleat, and 
by which the clew of the sail is secured to the boom (if there be one) 
preparatory to reefing. 



Heef Cringles 


Beef points (sometimes called nettles). — Short pieces of rope hung, 
one on each side of a sail, from the eyes in the reef bands, and used 
to confine the reefed portion of the sail. The simplest method of 
keeping these reef points in the sail is to pass a short rope half 
through the eye and sew it down. Another method, and one some- 
times used, on account of its greater strength, for large sails, is to 
have each reef point of two ropes, with a small eye spliced on the 
end of each, just large enough to take the end of the other. Each 
of these ropes being passed through the eye in the sail, one from 
each side, the end is rove through the eye of the other and pulled 
tight (see fig.). 

Beef tackle. — A purchase 
or tackle applied to a reef 
earing, or to a reef-pen- 
dant (when reefing) for 
hauling in the corner of the 
sail, which is too large to 
be managed by simple hand 

Close - reefed. — To be 
sailing with all reefs taken 
in. (Sea Close -reefed.) 

Beefing. — Reefing is a 
difficult operation in a 
high wind (the only time 
it is necessary) ; but it 
has so often to be done, 
that a few notes on the 
subject, as applied to fore- 
and-aft rigged craft, may 
be found useful. Some- 
times, under stress of cir- 
cumstances, and especially 
if short of hands, it may be 
best to drop the sails alto- 
gether, one at a time, 
take in the necessary reefs, 
and then set them again. 
But under more favourable 
conditions this is hardly 
needful, and the process 
is usually conducted as 
follows : — 

To reef the mainsail, and, 
in a yawl, the mizzen, the 
boat should be put up head 
to wind ; after which, the 
boom being slightly topped 

tip, so as to relieve the s 

sail of its weight, the peak Method of Passing Reef-Points. 


"-■"jjf-^ \ ■ Cringles 

fa} ?oi*r, 

-Retted bortiCK Securing the reefe* 

cf the sail, dew of tie Sad. 

Mainsail with Two Reefs. 


settled (lowered), and the sheets hauled taut — the first, second, or 
third reef cringle (according to the number of reefs to be taken) is 
hauled down by its pendant and secured to tbe boom, — or, if there 
be no boom, the corner of the sail is tightly bound up by the 
pendant, the same thing being done at the tack, or weather edge of 
the sail. The foot of the sail is then furled up as far as the 
necessary reef-points (beginning from the after end), lashed, and 
the sail set up once more. 

To reef the foresail. — The boat being put up to the wind, the sheets 
are shifted to the (first or second) cringle of the leech, and the tack 
pendant passed through the corresponding cringle in the luff, after 
which the foot of the sail may be furled and lashed by the reef points, 
and the tack made fast. 

To reef the jib. — This necessitates that the sail be hauled in, un- 
bent, reefed as the foresail, and reset. It is an awkward operation, 
and one taking time, for which reason jibs are seldom reefed, but 
instead replaced by smaller ones, the sailor being careful to secure 
each corner of the second sail as the first one is unbent. 

To reef a lugsail. — If it be a balance lug, it is reefed round the 
boom to which the foot of the sail is laced : if a dipping or standing 
lug, the foot is, of course, furled and tied in the usual way. 

Reel. — A machine upon which various bines may be wound, such 
as the deep-sea reel, that reel which contains the deep-sea line. 

Hand reel, the reel for the hand-bine. 

Log reel, the same for the log-line. 

A twine reel, " in rope-making, is formed, generally, of four small 
oak bars, about eighteen inches in length, one of which is made to 
slide, for the convenience of taking off the twine." 

Yarn reel. — A reel upon which to wind yam. 

Reeve. — 1. Generally speaking, to pass something through a 
hole. To reeve a tackle is to pass a rope through its blocks. To 
reeve a bowsprit is to draw it inboard (in small craft it runs in 
a ring at the stem and between bitts, and may therefore be said, 
in a sort of way, to be passed through them) ; and a bowsprit which 
can be so passed in and out (as in a cutter) is described as a reev- 
ing bowsprit. And since to reeve is to pass something through, to 
draw it out again is properly called unrecving. 

2. Heeling, with caulkers, is opening the seams of a vessel's sides 
with an instrument called the reeving iron, so as to admit oakum. 

Reeving beetle. — The largest hammer or mallet used by a caulker. 

Refit. — Repair of damages, or an alteration to rigging. 

Regatta. — A general meeting together of any sorts of boats for 
racing, promenading, or any description of aquatic sports ; it is some- 
times called a water frolic. The word is of Venetian origin. 

Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, at 

present in force under the Orders in Council of August 11th, 1884, 
December 30th, 1884, June 24th, 1885, August 18th, 1892, and 
January 30th, 1893, issued in pursuance of the Merchant Shipping 
Act Amendment Act, 1862. These regulations may be obtained at 


the marine store dealers'; by a nile of the Merchant Shipping Act, 
1894, " The Board of Trade shall furnish a copy of the collision 
regulations to any master or owner of a ship who applies for it " ; 
they are given in Lloyd's " Seaman's Almanac " ; and will also be 
found more or less fully detailed in most treatises on the art of sail- 
ing. The schedule first defines steam and sailing vessels, thus : 
"' In the following rules, every steamship which is under sail 
and not under steam is to be considered a sailing ship ; and 
every steamship which is under steam, whether under sail 
or not, is to be considered a ship under steam." Next follow 
the "Rules Concerning Lights," which will be found under the 
heading Lights. Articles 12 and 13 deal with fog signals (see 
under Signals), and the speed of vessels in a fog. Articles 14 to 23 
are occupied with steering and sailing rules ; in other words, with 
the Rule of the Road at Sea (which see). Articles 24 to 26 refer to 
precautions, rules for harbours, special lights for squadrons, etc. 
Article 27. — Signals of distress (see under Signals). Later orders 
refer to trawlers, steam pilot-vessels, the screening of side lights, 
etc. The amateur sailor should undoubtedly become quite familiar 
with these regulations. 

Reigning winds. — The winds which prevail in any particular 
district or locality. 

Relieving tackles (at sea). — Temporary tackles for the relief 
of others under great strain. They are sometimes attached to the 
tiller of a vessel in winch ropes are used for the wheel. 

Remberge. — " A long narrow rowing vessel of Avar, formerly 
used by the English. Its name is derived from remo and barca, aud 
it seems to have been the precursor of the Deal luggers. " (Smyth.) 

Render as a sea term has several meanings, as to render a rope 
in coiliwf, — so to coil it that it will nin off without hitch or kink. 
Hence when a rope runs free it is said to render. 

To render a tackle. — To yield or give way to its resistance, to 
slacken it off, etc. 

Repeat signal. — A signal to some person or ship to repeat 
a signal which lias not been properly seen or understood. 

Respondentia. — " A loan made upon goods laden in a ship, 
for which the borrower is personally responsible ; differing from 
bottomry, where the ship and tackle are liable. In bottomry the 
lender runs no risk though the goods should be lost, and upon 
respondentia the lender must be paid his principal and interest, 
though the ship perish, provided the goods are safe." (Smyth.) 

Retreenailed. — Spoken of a ship when she has had thorough 
repair and new treenails put into her. The term is constantly seen 
in "Lloyd's Register." 

Revenue cutter. — A cutter rigged vessel, sharp-built and fast, 
formerly employed in the prevention of smuggling and enforcing of 
Customs regulations. Not a few of these vessels are still left. 

Rhodings (in ships). — Bearings on which the axles of pumps work. 


Rhumb. — In navigation " the track of a ship which cuts all the 
meridians at the same angle. A ship sailing always towards the 
same point of the compass, or on the same rhumb, describes a 
loxodromic curve. This being the simplest curve, is the route 
universally pursued ; but a ship sailing on this curve never looks 
direct for her port until it comes in sight." (Brande and Cox.) 
If, then, a ship moves in such a direction, her course is on a 
rhumb-line, and the distance she makes is her nautical distance. 
" And hence," says Smyth, " seamen distinguish the rhumb by the 
same names as the points and winds, as marked on the end of the 
compass. The rhumb line, therefore, is a line prolonged from any 
point of the compass in a nautical chart, except the four cardinal 
points ; or it is a line which a ship, keeping in the same collateral 
point or rhumb, describes throughout its whole course." 

Ribs. — The timbers which form the skeleton of a boat. The 
ribs in a ship are like the ribs in the human frame ; they are lateral 
appendages to her back- bone or keel, encompassing the trunk and 
preserving the cavity of the hull. — Ribs in large vessels are made up 
of several pieces called futtocks, head timbers, etc. (see FuTTOCK) ; 
but in small boats they may be of one piece bent to the shape required, 
and are then known as heads, bent-heads or bent-timbers. {See 
diagrams under FRAME. ) When the " timbers" of a vessel are spoken 
of without further distinction, the term frequently means her ribs. 

Bibs of a parrel. — Small strips of wood which, in combination 
with wooden beads (called trucks), formed the yard guides or parrels 
of old ships. {See Parrel.) Hence because of the number of parts 
of which this parrel was formed the term ribs and trucks has come 
to mean " fragments" 

Ribands, or ribbons. — Riband.— The moulding round a vessel's 
side, or the painted decoration. A sail is said to be torn to ribbons 
when it is so damaged by the wind as to be no longer of any use. 
Such a thing is by no means so impossible as the term might imply ; 
for sails are frequently torn to mere shreds by the force of a gale. 

Ribbands (in shipbuilding). — Planks bolted outside the ribs 
to give stability to them during the building of the vessel. 

Ribband shores. — Shores, or supports, holding up the frame of a 
ship while building. 

Richer, or grown-spar. — A spar made out of a young tree, in 
contradistinction to one hewn out of a plank. Puckers are stronger, 
more elastic, and in every way superior to hewn spars. They may 
generally be recognized by their knots, which will naturally be small 
and round. 

Ricochet. — " Denotes a bound or leap, such as a flat piece of 
stone makes when thrown obliquely along the surface of the water. " 
Generally spoken with reference to projectiles. 

Ride. — 1. To lie at anchor. 

Ride athwart wind and tide. — A vessel is said to ride thus when, 
the wind and tide being in opposite directions with about the same 


force, she lies in a position which is the result of these opposing 
forces, and that, generally, is sideways to both. 

Bide a 1 port-last (old term). — Riding with the lower yards on the 
gunwales. (See Port-Last.) 

Ride easy. — When the vessel does not labour or strain. 

Bide hard. — To pitch violently in the sea so as to strain. 

Bide out a gale, to live through it without dragging the anchor. 

2. "A rope is said to ride when one of the turns by which it is 
wound about the capstan or windlass lies over another so as to 
interrupt the operation of heaving." 

Biding bitts. — Massive frames of wood or iron round which a 
cable is turned when a ship lies at anchor, or rides. 

Rider. — A sort of interior rib fixed occasionally in a ship's hold, 
when she has been enfeebled by service ; though she may be 
sometimes built with them for extra strength. They are variously 
named as kelson rider, lower futtoek riders, mid-futtock riders, etc. 
(See diagrams under Frame.) 

Ridge. — A long group of rocks near the surface of the sea. 

Rig. — The rig of a vessel is the manner in which her masts and 
sails are fitted to her hull. There can be but two rigs, viz., square 
and fore-and-aft. The first is that in which the sails are liung 
across the vessel, as in ships ; the second, that in which they lie in 
the direction of her length, as in cutters, yawls, etc. These two, in 
ships, are always more or less combined, but whenever a vessel 
carries square sails she is said (with very few exceptions) to be 
square rigged. Yet though there are but two rigs, the variety in 
each is almost infinite. The following list will give some idea of 
those most commonly seen in British waters ; and for the separate 
description of each, reference must be made under its own heading. 
It must be noted, however, that there are no hard and fast rules 
absolutely distinguishing vessels closely allied in the disposition of 
their gear, as, for instance, are sometimes the schooner and the 
brigantine. The rig of vessels has, moreover, considerably changed 
of later years. The tendency of all modern rigging is to do 
gradually away with square sails. Thus the barque, which always 
carried them on her fore and main masts, is being superseded by the 
barkentine, in which they are set only on the foremast ; while in 
the three-masted schooner they either disappear altogether or are set 
only on the fore topmast, making that which is sometimes called the 
jack-ass rig. The old brig has long since given way to the brigantine 
of modem type, and is now rarely seen, the majority of the small 
two-masted vessels built to-day being rigged schooner fashion. 

Kigs of British sea-going vessels: — (1) Four-masted ship* (some- 
what rare) ; (2) Full-riggea I ship or modem frigate; (3) Three-masted 

* " Sailing vessels built within the last few years are generally of large size when 
compared with those built twenty years since. The ' Somali,' a four-masted steel 
barque, is 3,537 gross tons and 330 feet long. This is the largest owned in the 
United Kingdom. The Germans own a still larger vessel, named 'Potosi.' She is 
a five-masted steel barque of 4,027 tons gross and is 366 feet long."— Lloyd's 
" Seaman's Almanac," 1897. 



schooner (sometimes called "jack-ass rig"); (4) Bark ; (5) Barken- 
tine ; (6) Brig; (7) Brlgantine ; (8) Schooner (commonly called 
topsail schooner) ; (9) Ketch (a fore-and-aft rig, carrying square sail 
for running) ; (10) Topsail barge ; (11) Biver barge (carries no top- 
sail) ; (12) One, Two, or Three-masted lugger; (13) Schooner yacht 
(occasionally carries a square fore-top-sail) ; (14) Yawl (a rig well 
adapted to cruising yachts) ; (15) Cutter (favourite rig for racing 
yachts) ; (16) Sloop (often seen on the Norfolk rivers) ; (17) Bermuda 
rig (rare). Fishing smacks and hoats are of various rigs : yawl, 
cutter, or lugger. 

The following are the usual rigs of hoats : Main and mizzen 
(both masts having lug sails) ; una rig ; cat rig ; leg of mutton 
sail ; sprit and foresail ; 

dipping lug ; balance lug 
(with boom) ; standing lug 
(without boom) ; Clyde lug 
(very high) ; sliding gunter ; 
canoe rig (battened sails) ; 
main and foresail (a rig for 
small raters). 

— Anything which does not 
extend beyond the side of 
a boat is said to be in- 
rigged, and in like manner 
anything projecting may be 
called out-rigged. Thus a 
rowing skiff in which the 
rowlocks are on the side of 
the boat itself is in-rigged, 
while a racing-shell, in 
which they are extended 
far out on iron brackets 
(out-riggers), may be called 
out-rigged. So also if the 
shrouds of a sailing boat 
are extended beyond the 
sides they are out-rigged ; 
and a mizzen set so far 
astern that it must be 
worked by a bumpkin is 
out - rigged. (See also 
under lN-EIG and Oux- 

Rigging.— The system 
of cordage in a vessel by 
which masts are supported 
and sails extended and 
worked. There must be two 
sorts of rigging, therefore, 



NO. 1. 



viz., stationary and movable: the first is called standing rigging, 
and the other running rigging. 

The standing rigging consists of shrouds, stays, and all such ropes 
or chains as hold spars in their places. 

The running rigging comprises halyards, sheets, clew-lines, and 
tacks, and all moving ropes connected with the sails, flags, etc. 

The lower rigging implies that of the lower masts, the upper or 
topmast rigging that of the topmasts ; and these terms apply no 
matter what the rig of the vessel may be. 

No. 2. 

No. 3. 

The accompanying diagrams show the rigging of a small cutter 
yacht. No. 1 is the standing rigging ; Nos. 2 and 3 show the run- 
ning rigging, the first being devoted to the halyards, the second 
and third to the sheets. The various parts are as follow : 

Standing Rigging. 

Running Rigging. 

No. l. 

No. 2. 

NO. 3. 




The shrouds, termin- 


Main or throat hal- 

1. Main sheet. 

ating in the dead- 


2. Foresail „ 



Peak halyard. 

3. Jib 



These two are often 

4. Jib topsail ,, 



included together 

5. Topsail ,, 


Topmast shrouds, ter- 

under the name 

6. Maintack-trice; 

minating in the legs. 

main halyards. 

7. Maintack line. 


Topmast forestay. 


Topping lift. 

8. Topsail tack line. 


Topmast backstay, 


Foresail halyards. 

often called ihe Pre- 


Jib „ „ 



Topsail „ „ 




Jib-topsail „ 


Bobstay trice, for 


Signal „ „ 

drawing up the bob- 


Flag halyards, or 

stay while at anchor. 


Jib inhaul. 
,, outhaul. 


Rigging out is fitting out or " dressing "a boat when she leaves the 
builder to be prepared for sea. The term is also used with respect 
to the fitting of her out for a cruise, or for a season after laying up, 
and consists in replacing in her all the rigging of which she had 
been denuded. Yachts are often laid up for a term, or during the 
winter, when all the rigging is taken down and the hull and mast are 
left naked ; and in the spring they are rigged out again. The term 
rigging is practically equivalent to " dressing," and, indeed, has its 
origin in the Anglo-Saxon wrigan, to dress. 

Rigging loft (in dockyards). — A loft in which rigging is stored for 
sale or prepared for ships. 

Right. — To right a ship. — To get her back to the perpendicular 
when she has careened too much over, by putting her head into the 
wind. When she comes again to the upright she is said to have 
righted herself ; and a vessel which rights herself without difficulty 
is said to possess righting power, or, to use the more common phrase, 
to be stiff. 

To right the helm. — To place the tiller of a rudder in a right line 
with the nose of the vessel so that the rudder ceases to act. 

Right away. — An expression which, when used at sea, may imply 
"in a certain direction " ; as Avhen another ship may be sighted 
" right away on the port bow," etc. 

Right-handed rope. — Rope with the strands twisted " with the 
sun " — i.e., in the most usual manner. 

Right knot.— Another name for the reef knot. (See KNOTS.) 

Right on end. — In a continuous line; as a topmast on the lower- 
mast when elevated. 

Right up and down. — Said of the wind when it is a dead calm. 

Rim. — The edge or skirting of anything. 

Rind gall.—" The injury a tree receives when young, so that 
the bark or rind grows into the inner substance of the tree. " 

Ring (of an anchor). — The ring at the lower end 
of the shaft. (See Anchob.) 

Ring-bolt. — A bolt with a ring at its head. It is 
usually passed through one of the strong timbers of 
a vessel for the attachment of a tackle or rope. 

Ring-ropes. — Ropes which were sometimes made fast 
at intervals to hempen cables so as to give them greater Kl! ^ G bolts 
power in holding the ship against heavy seas. Hence 
a rope used in the same manner on any hawser may be called a 
ring rope. 

Ring-sail. — Apparently the same as the ring-tail (which see). 

Ring-tail. — Sometimes called the studsail or " studs'l " (evi- 
dently a further abbreviation of " stuns'l, " itself an abbreviation of 
the name studding sail). — A sort of studding sail for fore-and-aft 
rigged craft. It is a narrow strip of sail set out beyond the leech of 
the mainsail of a cutter, or any similarly rigged boat. Its head is 
stretched on a small yard on the gaff, and its foot on another small 



spar called the ring-tail boom (on the main 
boom), both of which rig in and out as do 
the booms of the studding sails on square 
rigged ships. This sail is seldom seen except 
on racing yachts, when running before the 
wind ; and then not often. 

Kip.— Tide rip. (See Race.) 

Ripping-iron. — An instrument used to 
rip the copper off the bottom of a vessel. 

Rising. — Rising floors. — In shipbuilding , 
the floor timbers which, gradually rising 
from the plane of the midship floor of a 
ship, give the shape to the lower parts of 
the bow and stem. 

Rising line. — In shipbuilding, a line drawn 
on the sheer plan to determine the height 
of the ends of all the floor timbers throughout the length of a vessel. 

Rising wood. — In shipbuilding, that portion of the keel which 
rises through the floors. 

Rivers.— Rivers, as sailing-grounds, have certain advantages, to 
amateurs, over the open sea. Boats are more easily got at than on 
the coast ; there is less wear and tear, and more days on which 
one may go out. At the same time winds are more variable, 
sailing is in some of its branches more difficult, as well as more 

River police. — (See Metropolitan Police.) 

Rivet.— A metal pin clenched at both ends (often while hot). 

Roach, or roaching (in square 
rig). — The curve in the foot or leech 
of a square sail. It is so cut to keep 
it from the futtock plates and ropes 
about the mast (see fig. ) 

Roadstead, or road. — A place of 
anchorage at a distance from the shore. Thus we have the Yar- 
mouth Roads, the Margate Roads, and others. 

A good road is one well protected from gales, etc. 

An open road is one open or unprotected. 

Roadster, or roader. — A vessel lying in a road. 

Roarer. — A name sometimes given to a vessel which 'makes a 
loud roaring noise as she moves through the water. This is the 
case with some yachts, and is generally to be traced^ to some 
peculiarity of formation about the bows. 

Roast-beef dress.— Full uniform. 

Robins (i.e., rope-bands). — Part of the gear of a square sail. 
Small ropes, used in pairs, one leg of each pair being longer than 
the other, to attach the head of the sail to its yard. The long leg 
of each is taken two or three times round the yard and^then lashed 
to the short leg. 



Roundrobiti. — A method 
of petitioning, (See under 

Rockered. — Rounded, 
as the keels of some hoats 
are rounded, when they 
are called rockered or drag 
keels. It is mostly seen 
in small boats or racing 
yachts (see fig.). 

Rocket. — Rockets are 
used at sea, by night, as 
signals ; and if the weather 
be foggy, they are re- 
placed by guns. A rocket 
sent up alone, every few 
minutes, is a signal of 

Rockered, ok Drag Keel. 

Rocket apparatus. — Instructions issued by the Board of Trade 
for the guidance of masters and seamen, when using the rocket 
apparatus for saving life, may be obtained by any person at any 
mercantile marine office. 

Roger. — The pirate's flag ; more commonly known as the Jolly 
Roger. It is black, charged with a white skull and cross-bones. 

Roger's blast (at sea). — A. sudden disturbance of the atmosphere, 
resembling a small whirlwind. 

Rogue's yarn. — In rope manufactured for the Royal services, 
it is the practice to interweave one yam of a colour different from the 
rest. This is called the rogue's yam, because it can be identified if 
stolen. And, moreover, since each dockyard may have its distin- 
guishing colour, a rope may be traced back to the place at which it 
was made, which is a wholesome check upon defective manufacture. 

Roll, rolling. — The oscillation of a vessel in a heavy sea. The 
result of heavy rolling may sometimes be to throw sails over to wind- 
ward and back. In square rigged vessels this would be especially 
the case were not ropes attached to the sails to prevent it ; these 
ropes and their blocks constitute what is called rolling tackle. 

Rollers. — 1. Heavy seas (waves) setting in without wind ; sometimes 
of enormous size and length, as may often be seen on the Cornish 
coast or along the shores of the Bay of Biscay. 2. On shipboard, 
revolving timbers placed where constant friction of ropes occurs. 

Room. — Room and space. — In shipbuilding a purely teclmical 
term referring to the space supported by each rib of a vessel. 
Rooming (old term). — " To leeward " (which see). 
To go rooming. — To bear down upon anything. 

Roost. — " A phrase applied to races of strong and furious tides 
which set in between the Orkney and Shetland Islands ; as those of 
Sun burgh and the Start." 


Rope. — Generally speaking, cordage above one inch in circumfer- 
ence. A rope, technically, is a twist of a certain number of strands 
of hempen fibre ; a strand being a number of yarns, and a yarn a 
certain proportion of twisted fibres. Three strands form a rope ; 
though four-stranded manilla is now largely used on yachts. 

Rope is of several kinds. 

Italian hemp is the best, and when worn out is always saleable. 

Manilla (from the fibres of a species of wild banana), being of a 
softer nature, is very suitable to yachts, but it is expensive, and to 
take its place, fash rope, an inferior kind of manilla, is often used. 

Coir rope is made of the fibrous husk of cocoanut. 

Bass warp is very light with strands interwoven. 

Rope is either hawser (sometimes called shroud) laid — when it is 
made up of three or four strands ; or cable (cablet or water) laid — 
when it has three great strands, each being made up of three small 
ones, twisted left-handed. 

The size of rope is designated by its circumference expressed in 
inches ; as a " 9in. rope," which is one 9in. round. It is issued in 
coils ; sold by the lb. weight ; and its length measured in fathoms. 


Its strength in ,tons dead weight = circum 5 ference about. Its weight 


in lbs. per fatliom = circnm 4 ference about. " Rope is either white or 
tarred, the latter being the best if liable to exposure to wet, the 
former if not exposed. The strength of tarred ropo is, however, 
only about three-fourths that of white rope, and its loss of strength 
increases with time." 

In rigging, the standing part of a rope is the part fixed ; the 
running part, that part which is hauled upon. 

A bight is a bend in a rope whether in making a knot or for any 
other purpose. Rope when wet swells in diameter and shrinks in 
length ; this should be allowed for when tightening up dry ropes which 
are to be left standing for any length of time, or even for one night. 
New rope is stiff. This may be taken off to some extent by steeping in 
boiling water and stretching while hot. When a rope gets partly 
worn through it is said to fret; when its end becomes loose it 

Mope bands.— (See Robins.) 

Rope end. — A punishment. The infliction of a whipping with a 
short rope. 

Rope of sand. — A thing without cohesion. A people who cannot 
combine, but who at critical moments separate and thus lose their 
object ; the principal failing of many communities of seamen, more 
especially, perhaps, of coast men. " A term borrowed from a Greek 
proverb signifying attempting impossibilities.'' 

Rope yarn. — The smallest component part of a rope. (See above.) 
It also means the untwisted yarn of old rope (junk), for which 
there are a multitude of uses on ship-board. 

On the high ropes. — Ceremonious, puffed up, proud, etc. 


Rose lashings. — Fanciful or decorated lashings with rope. 

Rough. — Unfinished. Hence : — Rough knots (properly " rough 
nauts," abbreviated from " nauticals"), unsophisticated seamen. 

Bough spars. — Those in an unfinished condition. 

Bough tree, or rough tree timbers. — The stanchions supporting the 
rough tree rail, also the tree out of which a spar is to be made. 

Bough-tree rail. — The topmost rail round a vessel's bulwarks. 
Also, an old term used on trading ships for almost any long piece 
of timber placed as a rail above the ship's side. 

Round. — To round in — to haul in. " To round in generally 
implies to pull upon any slack rope which passes through one or 
more blocks in a direction nearly horizontal," and is particularly 
applied to the braces. It is apparently derived from the circular 
motion of the rope about the sheave through which it passes. 
" To round up is used in nearly the same sense, only it is expressed 
of a tackle which hangs in a perpendicular direction without sus- 
taining or hoisting any weighty body." (Falconer.) 

To round to. — To bring a vessel " head to wind." 

Bound turn. — The passing of a rope once round a timber or post 
so as to be able to suddenly stop some motion, or temporarily 
hold on. 

Bound house. — Apparently so called because it was possible to 
walk round it. On old ships it was a square cabin on the after part 
of the deck, and in men-of-war was sometimes called the " coach." 
Later, it was built abaft the main mast. To-day it is not so 
often seen. 

Bound robin. — " A compact or agreement entered into by seamen, 
when they have cause of complaint against their superior officer, 
to state their grievances to the Admiralty or commander-in-chief, 
and to endeavour to obtain redress without subjecting any one 
individual more than another to be thought the leader or chief 
mover. The term appears to be a corruption of ruban rond, as 
their complaints are generally stated in a circular form, and the 
signatures written all round them, so that none appear first. " 

Bound dozen. — Thirteen. In old days a round dozen meant 
thirteen lashes with the cat. 

Bound ribbed. — Spoken of the shape of a vessel when her sides 
are very much curved. 

Bounding a rope. — Serving it. Much the same as heckling 
(which see.) 

Boundly. — Quickly. 

Bounds or rungs. — The cross pieces forming the steps of a wooden 
ladder. At sea the rounds forming the steps up the shrouds of a 
vessel are called the ratlines, or rattlings. 

Roust. — [See RoosT.) 

Rovens. — 1. A pronunciation of the word robins (more 
properly rope-bands). 2. Ra veilings of canvas or bunting. 

Row. — Bowing. — The propulsion of a boat by oars, not by sculls, 
that being, in the language of boating men, called sculling. 



The art of rowing is not easily learned. The best schools are the 
universities, but the various rowing clubs of the Thames also 
produce very perfect oarsmen. Those who would know more of the 
subject may be referred to the treatise on rowing in the Badminton 

Row dry. — To row without splashing ; just as to row wet is to 
splash a good deal. 

" Row off all ! " — The order to rowers to cease rowing, and lay 
upon their oars ; but the term " easy all " is much of tener em- 

Row in the same boat. — Equivalent to riding in the same curricle 
with another person ; that is, being in the same situation or holding 
the same views. 

Rowbowline. — (See Rumbowline.) 

Howl. — A single block or pulley. " The iron or wood shiver 
or wheel for a whip tackle." 

Rowlock (pronounced "rullock").— -The rowlock, as the name 
implies, is a lock or holding portion for growing machine, i.e., an 
oar ; it is, in fact, the fulcrum from 
which an oar obtains its leverage. 
There are fixed rowlocks, some- 
times called tholes (but not cor- 
rectly, because tholes, properly 
speaking, are pins), and swivel-row- 
locks, which revolve upon pivots, 
turning in holes made to receive 
them in the gunwale of a boat. 
The swivel-rowlocks have certain 
advantages over the fixed in that 
a longer stroke may be taken by 
their use, and that sculls or oars 
may be brought alongside a boat 
instead of lifted out or shipped 
when passing very close to any 
object. They are nearly always 
found in boats with a gunwale, 
but in such skiffs as those built 
on the Upper Thames, the absence 
of a gunwale necessitates an ar- 
rangement of fixed rowlocks, in 
consequence of which the oars and 
sculls made for use on these waters 
are nearly always square in the 
loom.. There can be no doubt 
that the fixed rowlock is more 
elegant than the swivel, and to 
up-river men the sound of the 
measured rattle as the square oars 

fall to the feather is very musical. Various Forms of Rowlocks. 




For rough rowing, however, use has to give way to appearance, and 
the swivel is undeniably the more useful. Sailing boats have often 
ihe rowlocks cut out of the gunwale's strake, so that they may be 
out of the way of all sails, sheets, etc. ; and to preserve the height 
of the freeboard a slide Ls usually fitted over them, when under sail. 
(See also Tholes.) 

Rowse. — To pull on a rope without tackle. 

"Bowse away /" " Rowse away cheerily !" etc., are encouraging 
exhortations on the part of an officer to men hauling on a rope. 

Royal. — Royal mast. — The mast in a ship, bark, brig, etc., 
above the top-gallant, and named according to the lower mast upon 
which it rises, as fore-royal, main-royal, etc. The royal mast is 
the highest ordinary mast in a ship, and carries the royal sail and 
sky sail. 

Royal sail. — The sail on the royal mast, and named accordingly — 
as main-royal, etc. 

Royal yard. — The yard which carries the royal sail. It comes 
down to the top-gallant yard when the sails are furled. 

Rubber.—" In sail-making a small iron implement fixed in a 
wooden handle and used to nib down or flatten the seams of the 
sails. " 

Rubbing piece, or wale. — A beading of wood or rope 
running round the outside of a boat just beneath the gunwale to 
protect it against injury in touching quays, piers, or other boats. 
(See Wale.) 

Ruck. — A measure of string. 

Rucking. — Easing down a gaff sail lapidly, by lowering on the 
peak and throat halyards. It may be necessary in case of a sudden 
gust or to run before a squall. 

Rudder (Anglo-Saxon, steor-roper) . — That instrument by which 
a vessel is steered. Tiphys is said to have been its inventor. 
The rudder is hung upon the stern post of a vessel by means of 
gudgeons and pintles, otherwise called rudder bands or braces. 

Its parts are as follow : — A is the head over which the tiller 
(B) fits ; or into which it is 
inserted as at C ; or the tiller q 
may take the form of a yoke / — 71 
as at D. E is the stock or q f ^ 
neck, F is the pintle or brace, p^ I 
and G the gudgeon, or rudder 
band; these last two (the 
gudgeon and the pintle) con- 
stituting what are sometimes 
called the rudder irons, or 
forelocks. The rudder rake 
is the shape of the aftermost 
part. The bearding is the 



Barge Rudders (Wide). 

In vessels of great draught the rudder is narrow — that is, extends 
but a little way from the stern post ; in those of small draught 
it is proportionately wider (or extends further out), until, in 
flat bottomed vessels, 
such as barges, it is 
very wide. "When 
carried to a consider- 
able breadth, as in 
the Chinese vessels, it 
is pierced ^ith holes, 
which preserves an in- 
creased leverage with 
a diminished direct 
resistance from the 
water. " (Brande and 
Cox.) This principle 
of boring holes in the rudder has occasionally been followed in certain 
English craft ; but it is unusual. With respect to small sailing 
boats we find that rudders are larger and deeper on smooth waters 
than on the coast, for river craft cany a great spread of canvas, 
which lays them over to a very considerable extent ; and were the 
rudder narrow or wanting in depth 
it would be brought so much out 
of the water that its command 
over the boat would be gone. So 
also in the case of very long row 
boats, such as the Thames skiffs, 
as well as in racing boats, the 
rudder is increased in width, both 
on account of the boats' length 
and the speed with which they are 
intended to travel. 

The rudder is worked by means 
of the tiller. The tiller is a handle 
or bar at the head of the rudder. 
It is one of the component parts 
of the helm. {See Helm.) In 
small craft it is moved by hand ; 
in large, by a wheel ; while in 
long row boats, where the steers- 
man sits too far amidships to be 
able to give it the necessary sweep, 
it is worked by ropes, called rudder 
lines, or yoke lines ; and in this case 
it ceases to be a bar, and becomes, 
as above mentioned, a flat plate, 

called the yoke. The lines are sometimes crossed, enabling the 
rudder to be pulled over to a greater angle, which, in a long racing 
boat, gives the steersman an increased command over his boat's 

Q 2 


movement. In certain small craft, having two masts, the mizzen 
stands before the rudder head and impedes the sweep of the tiller. 
It then becomes necessary to devise some means by which the tiller 
may be brought over without interference. The accompanying 
diagrams will best illustrate the means usually employed. In the 
lirst, the distance from the rudder head to the steersman is short, 
and the tiller is simply bent as shown. In the second, however, 
the distance is very long, and a double yoke is used, — the first on 
the rudder itself, the second (to which a small false tiller is fitted) 
being placed before the impeding mast. 

Rudder chains and pendants. — Chains shackled to the rudder for 
preventing its loss in case of being carried away in a heavy sea. 
The chains terminate in short ropes, called the pendants, which are 
made fast to the stern of the vessel. We sometimes find these in 
barges. In vessels steered by a wheel, the chains by which the 
wheel works the tiller are also called rudder-chains or tiller chains. 

Rudder case, or rudder trunk. — A casing of wood fitted round the 
helmport — i.e., the hole through which the stock of the rudder 
passes when the boat has a counter. 

Rudder chocks (at sea). — Wedges used in emergency to fix the 
rudder should it become unmanageable. 

Rudder house. — The wheelhouse on a ship. (See under Deck.) 

Rule of the road (at sea). — The popular name for the Inter- 
national Steering and Sailing Rules included under Articles 14 
to 23 of the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. They 
are as follow : 

Art. 14. — When two sailing ships are approaching one another, so 
as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the 
way of the other as follows, viz. — (a) A ship which is running free 
shall keep out of the way of a ship which is close-hauled. (6) A ship 
which is close-hauled on the port tack shall keep out of the way of 
a ship which is close-hauled on the starboard tack, (c) When both 
are running free with the wind on different sides, the ship which has 
the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other. 
(d) When both are running free with the wind on the same side, the 
ship which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the ship 
which is to leeward, (e) A ship which has the wind aft shall keep 
out of the way of the other ship. 

Art. 15, which applies only to cases where ships are meeting end 
on, or nearly so. if two ships under steam are meeting end on, or 
nearly end on, so as to involve risk of collision, each shall alter 
her course to starboard, so that each may pass on the port side of 
the other. 

Art. 16. — If two ships under steam are crossing, so as to involve 
risk of collision, the ship which has the other on her own starboard 
side shall keep out of the way of the other. 

Art. 17. — If two ships, one of which is a sailing ship, are proceed- 
ing in such directions as to involve risk of collision, the steam-ship 
shall keep out of the way of the sailing ship. 


Art. 18. — Every steam-ship, when approaching another ship, so as 
to involve risk of collision, shall slacken her speed or stop and 
reverse, if necessaiy. 

Art. 19, to be used only when a steam-ship has another in sight, 
and never in fog, " recent cases showing the great imprudence and 
danger of altering the course of a vessel to avoid another vessel 
which is not in sight, and whose position it is impossible correctly to 
determine." — In taking any course authorised or required by these 
regulations, a steam-ship under way may indicate that course to 
any other ship which she has in sight by the following signals on 
her steam whistle : — One short blast to mean " I am directing my 
course to starboard." Two short blasts to mean " I am directing my 
course to port." Three short blasts to mean " I am going full speed 
astern." {Four or more blasts mean that the ship cannot give way.) 
Art. 20. — Notwithstanding anything contained in any preceding 
article, every ship, whether a sailing ship or a steam -ship, over- 
taking any other, shall keep out of the way of the overtaken ship. 

Art. 21. — In narrow channels every steam-ship shall, when it is 
safe and practicable, keep to that side of the fair-way or mid- 
channel which lies on the starboard side of such ship. 

Art. 22. — Where, by the above rules, one of the two ships is to 
keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course. 

Art. 23. — In obeying and construing these rules, due regard 
shall be had to all dangers of navigation, and to any special 
circumstances which may render a departure from the above rules 
necessaiy in order to avoid immediate danger. 

These rules, then, resolve themselves into two orders : 1. Those for 
sailing vessels ; 2. Those for steam-ships. And since, in the case of 
the latter, it has been found useful to boil them down, as it were, 
into a set of doggerel rhymes, as " aids to the memory," the same 
may also be done with the former. The following are the four verses 
applying to steam-ships, by the late Thomas Gray, C.B. : 
" When both side lights you see ahead — 

Port your helm, and show your Red. 

Green to Green — or Red to Red — 

Perfect safety — go ahead ! 

If to your starboard Red appear, 

It is your duty to keep clear ; 

To act as judgment says is proper ; 

To Port — or Starboard — Back — or, Stop her ! 

But when upon your Port is seen 

A Steamer's Starboard Light of Green 

There's not so much for you to do, 

For Green to Port keeps clear of you. 

Both in safety and in doubt, 

Always keep a good look-out ; 

In danger, with no room to turn, 

Ease her ! Stop her I Go astern ! " 


So far as the sailing rules are concerned, and particularly with 
reference to amateur boat-sailing and yachting, the following verses 
may be found useful {Art. 14, above) : 

(a) Am I sailing free and fair ? 

Of craft close-hauled I must beware. 

(b) Am I close-hauled on the Port ? 

To Starboard tack give way I ought. 

(c) Two trim built vessels sailing free 
With wind on different sides I see ; 
She with the wind a port gives way, 
Because it is the rule of day. 

(d) On the same tack if two run near, 
She to the windward must keep clear ; 

(e) And he who has the wind abaft 
Must give the way to other craft. 

Runibo. — Rope stolen from a dockyard. 

Rumbowline. — Condemned canvas, rope, etc. Also the coarse 
rope which secures new coils of rope. 

Bum gagger. — One who gags (tells improbable stories) in the 
hopes of getting rum for his trouble. 

Rum-turn race. — A race among Thames rowing men in boats 
supplied to them by the clubs to which they belong. But few 
of the watermen are able to afford best boats ; but by this method 
almost all can now enter for professional races. The boats 
thus supplied are not first-class racers, but are fitted with sliding 
seats and are full out-rigged. The practice of rum-tum racing has 
only been instituted within the last few years. 

Run (in naval architecture). — The run of a vessel, occasionally 
called the rake, is the angle its 

under surface makes in running — 3» 

from beneath the greatest width of \. **>^l 

beam up to the counter : or, in ^ ' 

other words, it is the backward 

sweep of the under part of the hull. Much of the speed of a 

boat depends upon the run given her in designing. 

To run, in sailing, or run before the wind, is to be sailing with 
the wind aft, or very nearly so. In centreboard boats the board is 
triced up when running before the wind. This is the time to be 
careful of gybing (which see). 

To run down another vessel is to run into her. 

To run out a warp or cable is to carry the end out away from 
a ship. 

To run the gauntlet. — A species of punishment. (See Gauntlet. ) 

To let run a rope, is to let it run quite loose. 

In the rigging of a vessel : — 

Runners. — The back stays of a mast, which, being fastened to 
pendants, or short ropes, are movable, and can, therefore, be let run. 


Running part. — 1. (Of a rope). — The end which is not fastened. 
2. (Of a tackle).— The part which runs in the blocks. (See Tackle.) 

Running rigging. — (See under RIGGING.) 

Runner tackle. — A tackle applied to the running end of a rope 
or tackle. 

Rung. — The step of a ladder. 

Rung-heads. — In ship-building, a name occasionally given to the 
flow-heads of a vessel. (See under FLOOR.) 

Runners. — (See under Run.) 

Rut (of the sea). — The breaking waves along the coast. 


Saccade. — " The sudden jerk of the sails in light winds, and a 
heavy swell . " ( S myth . ) 

Sack of coals. — " The seaman's name for the black Magellanic 
clouds, or patches of deep blue sky in the Milky Way near the 
South Pole." (Smyth.) 

Saddle. — A rest for any spar, etc. A bracket or ring on the 
lower part of a mast, acting as a rest, or " saddle," for the jaws of a 
boom. (See Boom- Stays.) 

Sag, sagging. — A dropping or depression ; and therefore, in a 
keel, the opposite to " hogging" (which see). 

To sag to leeward is to make considerable lee-way. 

The sag of a rope. — Its bellying or drop, when extended. 

Sail. — The following refers to the sails of a full-rigged ship. 
" Sails take their names from the mast, yard or stay upon which 
they are stretched. Thus the principal sail extended upon the 
mam mast is called the main sail; the next above, which stands 
upon the main top-mast, is the main top-sail; above which is the 
main top-gallant-sail; and above all, the main royal. In like 
manner, there are the foresail, the fore top-sail, the /ore top-gallant- 
sail, and the fore royal, although the square foresail is very rarely 
used, from the circumstance that it would take the wind out of all 
the jibs ; and similar appellations are given to the sails supported by 
the mizzen or after-mast. The main stay-sail, main-top- mast stay- 
sail, etc., are between the main and fore masts ; and the mizzen 
stay-sail, mizzen top-mast stay-sail, etc., are between the main and 
mizzen masts. These are, however, employed only in dead calms 
and under exceptional circumstances. Between the foremast and 
bowsprit are the fore stay-sail (commonly called the fore-sail), the 
jib, and sometimes & flying jib and middle jib ; and the studding sails 
are those which are extended upon booms run out beyond the arms 
of the different yards of the main mast and fore mast." (Brande and 
Cox.) To the square sails on each mast may be added one or more, 
above all the rest, called respectively the sky sail, moon-raker, and 
jumper, or jolly jumper (but the two last are very rarely seen) ; and 
below the lower studding sails occasionally, another called the water 


sail or save all. Such canvas is commonly called, by seamen, kites, 
and the setting of them in a light breeze is called flying kites, from 
which we have an expression often used in general conversation, aa 
when a man makes a great deal of show with paper money, he is 
said to be flying kites. But the tendency of all modern rigging is 
to do away with square sails in favour of those set fore-and-aft, 
which are found to be handier. (See under RlG.) 

A square sail is one bent to a yard and balanced across the ship. 
Fore-and-aft sails are those set in the direction of the length of 
a vessel. 

Stay-sails are triangular (or jib-shaped) sails running on stays 
between masts or from a mast to a bowsprit. They belong to 
square rig. 

Studding-sails (used only in square rig) are bent to short booms 
run out beyond the yards, to increase the lateral spread of the 
square sails. 
A gaff-sail is one bent to a gaff. (See Gaff.) 
A lug-sail is bent to a yard which is slung in a fore-and-aft 
direction. It is common to the open boat, and is of various forms. 
(See Lug.) 

A sprit-sail is one extended by a sprit, which is a spar passing 
diagonally across it. (See SPRIT.) 

A spinnaker is a racing sail for yachts, run out at right angles to 
the mast on the side opposite to that over which the main-sail 
stands; only used when running dead before a wind. (See SPIN- 

A leg of mutton sail (in fore-and-aft rig) is a triangular sail, 
its foot extended on a boom and its apex attached to the head of a 
pole-mast : it is supposed to resemble a leg of mutton in shape. It 
is a sail well suited to small boats. (See Mudian.) 

A lateen sail is one extended on a yard of great length, which is 
made fast to the bow of the boat, and runs high into the air. It 
is common to the Mediterranean and Eastern seas, and was at one 
time much used in Norfolk and Suffolk. (See Lateen.) 

Headsails are those at the head of a vessel, as the fore-sail and 
jib in a cutter. 

Storm sails are smaller and of stouter canvas than those in 
general use, and are often, even in small yachts, tanned. They 
are used in bad weather, in winter, or for rough work. 

Trysails are small sails answering to storm sails. But when the 
trysail is spoken of it means a gaff sail without a boom. (See 

Flying sails are small head sails set out beyond those in every- 
day use, such as flying jibs, jib topsail, etc., in yachts; and the 
"flying jibs " in square rig. 

A sail set flying (spoken mostly of headsails, jibs, etc.) is one 
stretched by its halyards alone, i.e., a sail not running on any 
stay. When it does run on a stay it is said to be set standing. 
(See Set.) 



Battened sails are those on which battens (splines of wood) are 
fitted, both to keep them flat, as well, in some cases, as to assist 
in reefing. They are usually restricted to small craft. (See under 

Balloon sails, used in yacht racing, are immense spreads of canvas, 
generally in the form of foresails and spinnakers. The complete 
racing equipment of a racing yacht constitutes that which is called 
her balloon, or press canvas (which see). 

A sail is said to be bent to its yard or mast. To make sail is 
to set sail. To spring a sail is also to set it. To shorten sail is to 
take in some sail, or to reef it. To loose sail is to spread or to 
hang out in their places sails that have been furled, either prepara- 
tory to setting them, or to air them. To strike a sail is to lower 
its yard or gaff in token of salute. To reef a sail is to tie up part 
of it so that it may present a smaller area. (See Reef.) To furl 
a sail is to fold it entirely up on its yard or boom. 

" Sail-cloth is made in bolts, mostly 24in. wide, but also 18in. 
wide, and, for yachting purposes, frequently still less wide, upon the 
ground that the narrower the cloth the flatter and better will the 
sail stand to its work. . . 

As a rule, 4 yards in ^--^PeaK 

length may be considered p^>^w \ 

as the average content of "% V^^jlr ' \ 
each bolt. Itisgenerally % <i^^JK • ', '. A r . rr „... 

made of eight different &i •' • • ', '\ U A * * bA . ' L 

qualities in respect of *.?**^'- \Vt-rtei(*tt)n,/,t 

thickness. Nos. 1, 2, V" ; *-*<»Tj # ' * \\C 

and 3 are used for storm y- ! , **»*» «* % * .V fn 

and other sails that have [°: . '* • \- .\'-3f -\ ° 

to do heavy work; the t a , \ ', \J\ 'A^ 

remaining numbers for \ . '••?' \ 

the lighter descriptions of {£ Fl'sXtyEJCtitfl?!^!* A. V", 

sails." ("Encyclopaedia oL''-.-..... :.. ...... A <W 

Britannica.") Aclothis ^'°. \-\ K '\A-j\--A-h^' Cringle 

one of the strips of canvas \ ' ' v/ ' J* ' "vM • 1/ 

of which the sail is made ; g \ *■ y - -*?■*■'•-?* -."> ■ : «- : ..r&.. 

and the cloths are said to JJL— _".' ,;,;„'., : ,",,"-"--", ,"„" " 

be pricked together, the 'f^' FOOT \*mt&*ii)*f*^ 

instrument used in sew- ^ 

ing up the seams being 

called a pricker. The Gaff Sail. 

several parts of a sail 

are as follow : — From the fact that sail cloth is made in bolts, we 

have the name bolt ropes, for ropes fastened all round a sail to 

strengthen its edges. At the head and foot these ropes are called 

the head-rope and foot-rope respectively ; on the leeches, or sides, 

the leech ropes. The bunt or belly is the main surface of the sail . 

(See BUNT.) The head is the upper margin. The fwt the lower 

margin. The leeches are the sides in general ; but the weather side 




(that nearest the mast, in fore-and-aft rig) is called the luff, and 
the lee side the after leech; and when, as in yachts, the leech 
alone is spoken of, it always means the after edge. (See Leech.) 
The clews are the lower corners : on a gaff- sail (as the mainsail of 
a yacht) the clew is the aftermost lower corner ; the tack being the 
foremost lower corner. (See Tack.) The peak of a gaff-sail or 
sprit- sail is the aftermost 
upper corner. The throat 
of a gaff-sail is the for- 
ward upper corner. Reef 
bands are extra bands of 
canvas running horizon- 
tally across a sail. In 
these bands, holes are 
pierced and small eyes 
inserted, through which 
the reef points are rove. 
(See Reef.) A balance 
reef is a reef band run- j- ac "£5 
ning diagonally across a 
gaff -sail, so that the sail 
may be reefed in such a 5l Jif T s H 5TAy *j^ 
man ner as to spread only s 9 A R t 
the peak and upper por- TAC K 
tion. It is seldom seen 
in small craft. Beef 
points are short ropes 
hanging from the holes 
in the reef- bands. They 
are used to tie up the 
foot of the sail, which Sails. 

constitutes what is called 

"reefing " it. (See Reef.) Reef cringles are loops or eyes in the 
bolt ropes on the leech of a sail. Through these cringles short ropes 
called reef pendants are rove, so that the corner of sails may be 
drawn down and tied preparatory to reefing. (See Reef.) Tabs 
are strengthening pieces hemmed into the edge of a large sail where 
bolt hooks are employed. Roaching is the name given to the curve 
in the t foot or sides of a sail ; the side curve being called the leech- 
roach. ' This term is mostly applied to square sails. (See Roach. ) 

Other terms relating to sails are : — 

Sail burton. — A purchase for sending up sails to a masthead 
ready for bending. 

Sail cover (sometimes called a sail coat). — A waterproof covering 
for a sail which is too large to be unbent and stowed away every 
time a boat is brought home from an outing. It is important to 
remember that a cover should not be put over a wet sail ; if this is 
repeatedly done, or the wet sail left covered for any length of time, 
it will quickly rot. 



2. A hook for holding the 

Sail hanks. (See Clip-hooks.) 

Sail hooks. — 1. {See Clip-hooks.) 
seams of a sail while sewing it. 

Sail ho! (at sea). — The exclamation used on the first sight of 
another vessel. 

Sailing. — " In navigation, the art of directing a ship on a given 
line laid down in a chart. It is called plain sailing when the chart 
is constructed on the supposition that the earth's surface (or rather 
that of the ocean) is an extended plain, and globular sailing when 
the supposition is that the earth is a sphere, the ship being then 
supposed to be sailing on the arc of a great circle. " (Brande and Cox. ) 

Sailing free or large. — Sailing with the wind abaft the beam. 
As this is sailing in the easiest manner, vessels sailing free must 
make way for those close-hauled. (See Rule of the Road.) 

Sailing order, or order of sailing. — In the days of sailing fleets, 
" any determined order preserved by a squadron. " 

Sailing within 4 points, 6 
points, etc. — Sailing within a 
certain angle of the direction 
of the wind. To explain the 
term it must be premised that 
the compass card is divided 
into 32 points (see Compass) ; 
and further, that a vessel can- 
not sail directly against the 
wind, but only within a certain 
angle of it, or, in nautical lan- 
guage, within a certain num- 
ber of points of it. That is 
to say, if the wind be due 
North (see fig.), and the vessel 
sail within 6 points, she can 
only progress in the directions 
E.N.E. and W.N.W., those 
being respectively the 6th 
point on either side of the 
North. Six points is as close 
as a square rigged trading 
ship will sail under ordinary 
circumstances. Fore - and - aft 
rigged craft will, however, 
stand up to 5 points, and 
some to 4 points, still mak- 
ing good headway, while modern racing boats with centreboards 
may, under certain conditions, be brought even closer, though not 
to hold for any length of time. 

Sailor. — " On shipboard, one who is making a long sea voyage 
other than his first, and who is qualified to go aloft and tend the 
sails. A sailor is not necessarily a seaman." (Brande and Cox). 

Sailing within 6 Points. 


Saint Lawrence skiff. — " In the Century (New Series, Vol. 
VIII.) is an interesting article upon amateur canoeing and sailing 
under the heading of 'Camp Grindstone.' There is an instructive 
paragraph describing the St. Lawrence skiff and the way it is 
managed. The skiff as depicted is a row-boat built upon scientific 
principles, and capable of seating about six persons. It is furnished 
with a centre-board, and carries a spritsail on a mast stepped well 
forward. The peculiarity of the craft is that when under sail it is 
steered by neither rudder, oar, nor paddle, but is governed by a 
person distributing his weight either forward or aft and at the same 
time regulating the sheets." (Winn, The Boating Man's Vade 
Mecum. ) 

Saloon. — The main cabin of a passenger boat. 

Salt. — An old salt. — An old sailor. 

Salt Horse. — (See Horse.) 

Salting's. — Flat land generally lying outside a river or sea wall 
and sometimes covered at spring tides. 

Salnte. — In the Royal Navy salutes are made by the firing of 
cannon, the number of guns marking the rank of the person or object 
saluted. Thus the Royal salute is twenty-one guns, and the 
number decreases to seven, the salute to a consul or a naval com- 
mander. But in a more humble manner salutes are also performed 
by the dipping of colours. Thus a boat on passing or being passed 
by a vessel displaying the Royal Standard (which floats only above 
royalty) will dip three times ; on other occasions, as to a naval 
officer's flag, to that of a yachting-club officer, or to a friend, once. 

Salvage. — "Originally meant the thing or goods saved from a 
wreck, fire or enemies. It now signifies an allowance made to those 
by whose means the ship or goods have been saved. 

"Salvage loss. — A term in marine insurance implying that the 
underwriters are liable to pay the amount insured on the property 
lost in the ship, but taking credit for what is saved." (Smyth.) 
It may be useful for the beginner to know that if any person find a 
boat he has a lien on it. If, therefore, a boat be lost or get adrift 
any person capturing her may deliver her up to the receiver of 
wreckage, who will, if she be not reclaimed, sell her at public 
auction. If an amateur have the misfortune to lose a boat he will 
do well to make some private arrangement with the finder, but he 
may conclude from the beginning that he will have to pay ' ' through 
the nose. " 

Salvo. — " A discharge from several pieces simultaneously, as a 
salute. " (Smyth. ) 

Salvor. — The person who saves a ship or any part of it from 
peril or loss. (See also Wreckers under Wreck.) 

Sand. — Sand bags. — Canvas bags for use in boats to fill with 
ballast. (See Ballast.) 

Sand hopper. — A small crustacean, not unlike a shrimp, which 
abounds on some beaches. He is one of the " sessile -eyed " class. 



Sand strakes. — Another name for the garboard strokes (which see). 

Sand warpt. — " Left by the tide on a shoal. Also striking on 
a shoal at half -flood." (Smyth.) 

Saraband. — " A forecastle dance borrowed from the Moors of 
Africa." (Smyth). 

Sasse. — " A kind of weir with a floodgate, or a navigable sluice." 
<Smyth.) v 

Saucer (of a capstan). — The part receiving the spindle upon 
which the capstan revolves. 

Save-all, or water sail. — " A small sail sometimes set under the 
foot of a lower studding-sail." (Smyth.) (See under Studding-Sails. ) 

Sawbones. — The surgeon on a ship is sometimes so called, as 
also occasionally on shore. 

Saxboard. — The uppermost 
strake in an open boat. To it the 
gunwale is secured (upon which the 
rowlocks are fixed), together with 
the inwale and outer wale, or rub- 
bing piece. It is sometimes called 
the gunwale strake. (See under 

Scandalising. — This is some- 
what of a local term. Applied to 
a gaff sail (as the main sail of a 
yacht), it implies that the wind is 
let out of it by tricing up the tack 
and settling the peak. It is often 
done when coming up to moorings 
in a breeze. 

Scant (or scrimp) (of the wind). 
— 1. A scant wind is a head wind, in which a vessel will barely lay 
her course. It therefore usually implies also a very light or poor 
wind. 2. In general conversation the word " scant " implies " of 
short dimensions." 

Scantling (from "scant," a measurement). — The dimensions 
of any timber when reduced to its standard size. In shipbuilding 
the scantling implies the measurement, or, more properly, the 
proportion of the various constructive parts. A vessel is said to 
have good scantlings when her timbers and all other parts of 
her are of such dimensions as shall render her powerful and sea- 
worthy. It need not necessarily mean that these are very large, 
but that they are large enough, and especially so proportioned, one 
to the strength of the other, that they will all strain equally together. 

Scarf. — A precipitous steep. 

Scarfing. — The joining together of two timbers, by sloping off the 
ends of each and fastening them together, so that fchey make one 
beam of uniform size throughout. 




Scarfed. — An old term for " decorated or dressed with flags." 

Scaw. — A jutting point of land. 

Sceud. — An abbreviation of " ascend," as when a boat lifts her- 
self up to waves. It is, therefore, the contraiy to the pitch, which is 
the plunging of her head down ; but in ordinary language a vessel 
is always said to pitch in a heavy sea, the word " scend " being used 
to describe only the upward movement. 

Schooner. — There are two rigs of schooners common to our 
waters : the first mostly applied to traders, the second more particu- 
larly to yachts : both have two masts, fore and main. 

The merchant schooner, commonly called the top-sail schooner, 
carries a square top sail, sometimes double (which see) on the foremast, 
the main mast being fore-and-aft rigged. 

Topsail Schooner. 

Schooner Yachts. 

The schooner yacht is occasionally square rigged in so far as 
that she may carry a square fore-topsail ; but more often she is 
fore-and-aft rigged on both masts. Schooner yachts were at 
one time extremely popular, and the first competitors for the 
America Cup were of this class; but of late years the cutter has 
entirely superseded them in racing. 

There is also another class of trading schooner, with three masts, 
eacli being fore-and-aft rigged. This is called the three-masted, 
schooner. When it sets square sails on the foremast it is sometimes 



called jackass rigged. But the jackass rig must not be confounded 
with the barkentine, which, at a distance, it resembles; the barken- 
tine having a brig -foremast, while the three-masted schooner has a 
schooner foremast. 

Besides these there is also a very beautiful class of schooner, 
having four masts, all fore-and-aft rigged. These vessels hail 
mostly from America. They are very swift and close-winded. 

Schooner mast or schooner fore-mast. — This is spoken of in con- 
tradistinction to the brig-mast. The schooner foremast is composed 
of two parts only, the lower and the top mast. The brig, on the 
other hand, has lower, top, and top-gallant masts, and this con- 
stitutes the difference between the schooner and the brigantine, 
and between the three-masted schooner and the barkentine. A 
two-masted vessel with a brig- 
foremast is either a brig or 
a brigantine ; with a schooner 
foremast, a schooner. In like 
manner a three-masted vessel 
(setting square sails on the 
foremast only) is a barkentine 
if she have a brig-foremast, 
and a three-masted schooner 
if she have a schooner fore- 
mast. (See fig. ; also Brig 
and Brigantine.) 

Schuyt, or eel schuyt (pro- 
nounced " scoot)." — A Dutch 
vessel, of one or two masts, 
employed in the eel trade 
between Holland and London. 
These vessels have those pe- 
culiar characteristics which 
mark the Dutch from other 
craft, and may for general 
purposes be included under the broad term " Dutchmen." (See fig.) 

Scoot.— A Dutch vessel. — (See Schuyt). 

To scoot (slang) — to get out of the way. 

Score.— The groove on the shell of a block which admits of the 
strop being tightened so that it will not move. (See Block.) 

Scotch. — To be scotched up is to be supported, as a boat may be 
when propped or "scotched up" against a quay by timber shores or legs. 

Scotchman.— 11 A piece of stiff hide, or batten of wood, placed 
over the backstays fore-swifter of the shrouds, etc., so as to secure 
the standing rigging from being chafed. Perhaps so called from the 
skotch or notch where the seizing is passed." (Smyth.) 

Scow. — 1. " A large flat-bottomed boat, used either as a lighter 
or for fenying. 2. In old Naval works the scroll is thus written. 
(See Scroll.) 



Scow banker. — A manager of a scow ; also a contemptuous U 
for a lubberly fellow." (Smyth.) 

Scrabble- — " A badly written log." 

Scratch. — 1. The line from which a race is supposed to st 
And in a handicap where the various competitors are given mor. 
less start, the one who has no start is called the scratch man 
scratch. 2. In another sense, a scratch race is one in which 
crews are brought together by lot or without previous train, 
together. It is, therefore, often understood 
to mean a race got up at short notice. 

Screw. — Screw bolts or screw eyes. — Bolts 
which have an eye at the head and screw into 
the deck or elsewhere. In sailing boats they w ' g ~ "Ty 

are very frequent, sometimes taking the place * ~^~ 

of shroud plates, sometimes acting as fair Screw Eyes: 

leads, etc. 

Screw stretcher and screw tightener. — (See Set-SCKEW.) 

Screw propeller. — The propeller of a screw steam vessel. 

Screw well. — An aperture into which a screw propeller may be 
lifted when connecting or disconnecting it. 

Scrimp. — The same as scant (which see). 

Scroll, or scroll-head (in old Naval works written " scrow "). 
A curved timber at the head of a ship by way of ornament. It is 
mostly seen in old vessels, 
but occasionally on schooner 

Scud. — To run before the 
wind. It is usually, but not 
necessarily, understood to 
mean before a high wind. 

To scud under bare poles. 
— To run before the wind -: 
without any sail set, the 

masts, yards, and rigging of t •■*>• 

a ship being sufficient to Scudding. 

keep way on her, even in a 
moderate breeze. Vessels may occasionally be seen scudding to an 
anchorage in large estuaries, such as that of the Thames. That 
the practice is ancient is certain, for St. Luke speaks of it. (See 
under Strike.) 

Scud. — Low, misty cloud, flying quickly. 

Scud like a mudian. — An expression hurrying someone off — " Be 
off quickly " ; the mudian rig of vessel being very fast. (See 

Scull. — With rowing men, to scull is to row with two oars called 
sculls. (See under Oar.) 

Single sculling. — Sculling by only one person. 


'Double sculling. — Two persons sculling ; a plan very popular on the 

pper Thames, and very much quicker than " pair oar " rowing. 

i rare occasions eight scullers are put in a boat and are found to 

valk away " from eight-oared boats ; but the plan is not common. 

jilling, at sea, is often performed with only one oar used at the 

srn of the boat, the sculler mostly standing to do his work. 

Scuppers. — Openings in the bulwarks of a ship to carry off 

(ok water. They are usually fitted with swinging flaps or doors, 

*me are mere holes cut in the waterways, which holes are often 

ited with small pipes called scupper hose or scupper shoots — or if 

,ith leather valves the valves are called scupper leathers. 

' Scuttle. — The meaning of the word scuttle is " a hole cut." 
Thus an opening in a vessel's sides or deck, whether to admit light 
or to allow of persons descending through it, is a scuttle ; as the 
" forescuttle," which is the name given to the forecastle hatchway 
when that consists of a mere opening in the deck without hood or 

To scuttle a ship is to cut a hole in her, below the water line, 
so as to sink her ; and in the same sense to scuttle a deck, or 
any other part, is to cut an aperture in it. 

To scuttle down is to close and, if necessaiy, batten down the 

A scuttle butt is a large butt (carried by vessels on deck and 
containing the water required for the constant use of the ship) into 
the top of which a hole, or " scuttle," is cut large enough to admit 
of a pail being lowered through it. 

Sea. — " The sea was called saivs from a root si or siv, the Greek 
seid, to shake ; it meant the tossed-about water in contradistinction 
to stagnant or running water." (Max Miiller.) 

The high seas are that part of the ocean beyond the (three mile) 
limit over which the Government of a country claims jurisdiction. 

The word sea is often used to describe the condition of the surface 
of the water, as a heavy sea when the waves are large, a long sea 
when there is a considerable distance between them, a short or choppy 
sea when they follow closely one upon the other, a cross sea when, 
in consequence of a change of wind or a run of tide, the waves meet 
each other from different directions. A single wave is often called 
a sea, and in the plural, the seas may mean the waves. 

Sea board. — The sea shore. 

Sea boat. — A good sea boat generally means a boat which conducts 
herself well at sea : a bad sea boat one which sails all awash. 

Sea borne. — Carried by sea. Brought from over the sea : as sea- 
borne coal, which comes round the coast by ship. 

Sea craft or scarf (in shipbuilding), the scarfed strakes, called the 
clamps. ((See next page.) 

Sea devil. — 1. The fish known as the angler, also called the 
fishing frog and wide gab {Lophius piscatorius). 2. One of the 
tribe Acanthopterygii. 



Sea dog. — The seal. 

Sea eagle. — The fish known as the sting-ray, common trygon, or 
fire- flair e (Baia pastinaca). 

Sea egg. — The sea-urchin ; one of the Echinodermata. 

Seafardinger. — A name for a seaman. 

Sea fret. — Morning mist. 

Sea gate, ox gait. — "A rolling swell: when two ships are thrown 
aboard one another by its means, they are said to he in a sea-gate." 

Sea girdles. — The common name for the seaweed Laminaria 

Sea-going. — A sea-going vessel is one designed for sea work in con- 
tradistinction to one built for river or canal navigation. Hence we 
speak of sea-going barges, because there are various sorts of barges, 
not all of them sea-going. 

Sea gull. — A term applied to any of the large family of Gulls, 
which are very common at sea and near the shore. 

Sea hog. — The porpoise. 

Sea holly. — " A harsh spiny-leaved seaside plant." 

Sea horse. — The small fish hippocampus, the head of which re- 
sembles that of a horse : also the walrus. 

Sea jelly. — A name for the medusae. 

Sea lawyer. — " An idle litigious long-shorer, more given to 
question orders than to obey them. " (Smyth. ) This gentleman is 
not a stranger a long way from shore. 

Sea lion. — A large seal with shaggy mane. 

Sea mew. — Another name for the sea gull. 

Sea otter. — An animal the fur of which is much sought after. 

Sea pie. — A dish at sea, consisting of fish, meat, and vegetables, 
with a layer of crust between each, from winch it becomes known as 
a two or three decker. 

Sea reach. — The reach in a river which stretches out seaward. 
But the term is also used as a proper name for reaches elsewhere. 

Sea scarf (in shipbuilding). — A clamp or block of wood upon 
which some member of a vessel's frame is often fastened. (See 
diagrams under FEAME.) 

Sea serpent. — A creature, "whether in earth, or fire, sea or air," 
which Science has not yet fully acknowledged. 

Sea sickness. — A malady which, though originating at sea, receives 
but scant sympathy thereon. 

Sea snake. — A creature belonging to the family Hyorus or 
Hydrophis, and distinguished from the land snake by the compression 
of the tail into a swimming organ. The genus exists and is even 
said to abound in some parts of the tropics. , 

Sea thongs. — One of the British seaweeds, Eclonia buccinalis. 

Sea urchin. — The sea egg. (See above. ) 

Sea wall. — An embankment protecting reclaimed land from the 
sea or a river. It is kept in repair by those holding land through 
winch it runs. 


Sea way. — A navigable portion of the sea. It is also called a fair- 
way, which term may answer also for the navigable channel of a river. 

Seaweed. — Plants growing in sea water. Seaweed forms excellent 
manure, and may also be used in the building of sea walls. When 
thus used it is called: — 

Sea-wrack. — The seaweed which is thrown up by the tide. 

Sea-worthy. — Fit to go to sea. 

Seam. — 1. Of a sail, the stitching up of two cloths, which, 
among sail-makers, is called pricking. 2. In shipbuilding, the 
space between two planks of a vessel. Seams are caulked with 
oakum, and payed with pitch. The seams in the deck of a yacht 
are often very close together, the narrowness of the plank con- 
stituting not only a safeguard against warping but also a great 
beauty. For this latter reason it is often the practice, where, for 
economy, wide planks have been used, to make a sham seam down 
the middle of each. Though no fault can be found with such a method 
of decoration, it is well for the amateur, if he be buying a boat, to 
see that he is not deceived into the conclusion that narrow planks 
have been employed, when, in fact, they may have been but imitated. 

Seaman. — A man who has been brought up to or served a 
certain number of years at sea. A complete seaman is called able- 
bodied and rated A.B. ; one having served a less number of years, an 
ordinary seaman; one only beginning his career, a landsman, 
which is equivalent to an ordinaiy seaman of the second class. 

Seaman's disgrace. — An old name for a foul anchor. 

Seaman 's pleasure. — Time spent by a seaman on shore. 

Seamanship. — The practical part of working a ship; rigging her, etc. 

Season. — To keep baulks of timber, or a vessel, some time in the 
water before making use of either. 

Seat-pad. — A small piece of cloth, wool, or sheepskin, with a 
tape at each corner, for tying on to the thwart of a row-boat and 
thus making the seat less hard. 

Second-hand. — On shipboard, but more particularly on small 
craft, such as fishing boats, the second in command (excluding the 
captain) is usually called the second-hand ; the word u hand " mean- 
ing "man." 

Section. — A drawing representing (in marine architecture) the 
internal parts of a vessel as if she had been cut straight down along 
any particular line, either longways or athwartships. In the 
designing of a large ship a great number of sectional drawings are 
made. In small craft two, with a plan, may be sufficient ; one show- 
ing her cut along the line of the keel — i. e. , a side view of her interior, 
and called the sheer plan ; the other showing her cut in half across 
the widest part, and called the body plan. And this latter one is 
generally so arranged that one-half shows the interior looking for 
ward, and the other half the view looking aft. This will be better 
understood by a reference to the paragraph under lines. 

Seel. — To suddenly lurch over, but quickly return to the upright. 

B 2 




Seize. — To secure ; as to fasten two ropes, or different parts of 
the same rope, together, -with a binding of small rope, or with yarn. 
The material used for binding is called the seizing. 

Selvage or selvedge. — The natural edge of any woven 
material, or of sail cloth. 

Selvagee. — A ring of rope for fastening round a spar, so as to 
lift or move it. 

Semaphore. — An instrument, as its name implies, " carrying 
signs " or signals ; and sometimes used at sea with the International 
Code. In its most familiar form it is the railway signal 
with its post and arms. (See under SIGNAL.) 

Serve.— To bind up or cover anything. To serve rope, to 
bind it round with canvas and line ; these materials being 
called the service. (See Worm, Parcel, and Serve.) 

Set. — Set-bolts. — Bolts used in driving others deeply 
into some timber. 

Set-screw, screw-stretcher, wire-stretcher, or screw- 
tightener. — An instrument consisting of a long shanked 
hook screwing into a frame, which may be turned round 
upon it so as to increase or reduce the length of shank 
exposed. In small boats it sometimes takes the place of 
the shroud tackle (dead eyes, lanyards, etc.), and is found 
very convenient, as by a few turns of the frame the shroud 
may be rendered taut or slack. It may also be used with 
advantage on a bob-stay purchase, or with 
bow-sprit whiskers. 

Set flying. — A sail is said to be set flying 
when it has no stay, gaff, or yard to guide 
it up. And when it does go up on a stay 
or spar it is said to be set standing. Thus, 
in a cutter yacht, the foresail is attached 
by hanks to the fore stay, which guides the 
sail up so that it cannot fly out in the 
wind. But the jib has no such stay to 
guide it ; it is merely attached by its head 
to the halyard and by its tack to the 
traveller, and, being lifted, it flies about 
in the wind until it is hauled taut, and 
may, therefore, be justly said to be " set flying." (See fig.) 

Set of the tide, or of a current. — The direction in which the tide or 
current flows, i.e., runs up. 

Set sail. — To haul up the sails preparatory to starting, synonymous 
with "make sail." 

Set up. — Generally speaking, to tighten up, in contradistinction 
to settle, which is to lower. Thus, to "set up the peak" is to 
give the final pull, or swig, on it, so as to bring the sail quite flat ; 
to " set up the shrouds. " to take in their slackness so that they 
may have the same strain as before. 

Set Flying. 
Set Standing. 


Sett. — A particular spot in a river where nets are set. The 
word is frequently met with in Norfolk, where it is the custom for 
eel fishermen to locate themselves permanently in one spot. Here 
the eelman brings an old boat, which being converted into a house, 
affords him shelter from the weather, and round it his gear may 
often be seen hanging ready for baiting, forming a characteristic 
and picturesque incident in a very romantic landscape. 

Settle. — To lower, or to become lower. The word may be used 
in both senses ; as ' ' settle the peak, " i. e. , " lower the peak " ; or 
" the ship is settling, " meaning she is lowering or becoming lower 
in the water, perhaps preparatory to sinking, as "she settled and 
sank. " 

Severe. — " Effectual ; as, a severe turn on a be laying-pin." 

Sewed. — A vessel aground is said to be sewed by as much depth 
as is still required to float her. Thus if she draws 12ft. and the tide 
leaves her in only 6ft. of water, she is sewed 6ft. 

Sextant. — The instrument used at sea for measuring the altitudes 
of the celestial bodies, and thereby determining the position of a 
ship. Its form and use are briefly but very lucidly explained by 
Captain W. R. Martin, in a contribution to Lloyd's " Seaman's 
Almanac," 1897. 

Shackle. — A small U-shaped iron with 
the open end connected by a screw-pin. 
Shackles have various uses, e.g., to connect 
lengths of chain, as in a cable ; in which 
case the head of the screw-pin is counter- 
sunk so as to allow of the chain running 
free. They are also a good deal employed 

on the tacks or clews of sails, their princi- Anchor 

pal advantage over hooks being that they shu-klks. 

cannot shake off ; in a squall, however, or 

in any emergency, they are somewhat awkward to manipulate. 
When fitted to cables, shackles should be placed with the apex 
forward, so that the chain may pay out freely. Anchor shackle- pins 
are not screwed in, but tapered and slipped in, and fastened with 
wood or lead plugs. 

Shaekle-croiv. — A bar of iron (like a crowbar), but fitted with a 
shackle for drawing out bolts, etc. 

Shadow building. — A term used to denote a method of build- 
ing boats without regard to specially drawn plans (called " lines ") 
or to intermediate calculations. 

Snaffle. — A split collar : one of the fittings on a mast to receive 
its boom. {See Gooseneck and Shaffle.) 

Shake. — To cast off or loosen, as : — To shake out a reef. — To let 
it out. 

To shake a cask. — To take it to pieces and pack up the parts, 
which are then termed shakes. Hence the term, ' No great shakes," 
expressing "of little value." 


Shake in the ivind. — A sail shakes or shivers when a vessel is 
brought head to wind ; and this is sometimes called a tell-tale shake. 

Shakes (in shipbuilding). — Cracks or rents in a timber. 

"Shaking a cloth in the ivind." — In galley parlance, means 
" slightly intoxicated." 

Shank (of an anchor). — The main shaft or leg. (See Anchor.) 

Shank painter. — A rope wliich holds the shank of an anchor 
while on deck. 

Shank of a hook. — That part al>ove the bent portion. 

Sheave. — The wheel in a block ; and sometimes in a spar, such 
as the bowsprit of a small yacht. (See note under Block). 

Sheave hole. — The hole in which the sheave runs. 

Sheepshank. — A method of shortening a rope without cutting 
it or loosening its ends. (See under KNOTS.) 

Sheer. — The word may be synonymous with "mere"; as " a 
sheer hulk " in the sense of a " hulk merely." (See Hulk.) 

In shipbuilding, the sheer is the straight or curved Line which the 
deck line of a vessel makes when viewed from the side. When 
straight, she is said to have a straight sheer. 

The sheer-plan is the drawing in which the sheer is delineated. It 
is a longitudinal section through the keel, and shows the position of 
every point with regard to its position fore and aft, as well as its 
height above the keel. (See Lines. ) 

Sheer battens are long rods used in shipbuilding to mark off the 
position of the planks called bends or wales before they are bolted on. 

The sheer stroke is the strake immediately below the sheer line; 
In ships it is often of thicker planking than the other strakes. 
(See diagrams under Frame. ) 

To sheer or sheer off (in sailing), to bear away from. 

Sheers are long beams or legs forming a sort of crane, used for 
rifting heavy weights into vessels or on to quays, etc. The apparatus 
is sometimes set up on old hulls, for dockyard use, pier building, 
etc. ; these hulls being then called sheer hulls or hulks. (See 

Sheet. — The rope attached to a sail so that it may be worked, 
that is, let out or hauled in as occasion may require. Sheets 
take their names from the sails they work, as the main sheet, 
working the mainsail ; the jib sheets, working the jib, etc. ; and 
they will, accordingly, be found described under their specific 
headings. To rally out a sheet is to let it run out. To overhaul it 
is the same. When a vessel is close-hauled with sheets brought in and 
belayed, they are said to be sheeted home. In a ship, the ropes attached 
to both clews of those square sails which are above the courses are 
called sheets ; in the courses (lower square sails) only the aftermost 
of these ropes is the sheet, the weathermost being called the tack^ 
In poetry, we often find the word " sheet " used to designate a sail, 
as in the Line, " the fresh breeze meets her dingy sheets." This, of 
course, is often Licence, taken for the sake of rhyme ; and if the 


poet is to be excused for straining after rhyme, it must lie passed 
over as such. 

Three sheets in the wind. — A grade in drunkenness, verging on 
the incapable. 

Sheet anchor. — The most powerful anchor carried by a ship, and 
popularly supposed to be used only as a last resource, in which sense 
the term is frequently used in general conversation. 

Sheet clip (or sheet slip). — An instrument, the principal agent in 
which is a sort of drop pawl, by which sheets may be held, while 
necessary, and instantly 
released. They are of 
great use in single-handed 
sailing, and in small boats 
may often be used to hold 
the main sheet. (Illus- 
trated under Clip.) & ^S%jTu " m **<*t4 

Head-sheets, stern- ™****tfo 

sheets (in open boats). — Head and Stern-sheets. 

The floor- boards covering 
the space either at the head or the stem of the boat. {See fig.) 

Shelf (in shipbuilding). — A longitudinal timber within the ribs 
of a vessel. (See diagram under FRAME. ) 

Shell. — 1. A popular term for the remnant of a vessel after she 
has been completely stripped. 

2. Of a block. — The outer casing of a block is its shell. 

3. Among rowing men, and especially among journalistic littera- 
teurs, a wager boat, or best racing boat, is sometimes called a shell. 

Shelve. — To slope down rapidly, as a shelving beach, winch is a 
very steep beach. 

Shifting. — Shifting backstays. — Those of the backstays of a 
vessel which may be shifted over from side to side when she goes 
about on another tack, and from which, therefore, may be derived 
the origin of the terms in stays, missing stays, slack in stays, etc. 
(See under Backstays and Tack.) 

Shifting sands. — Such banks of sand as are soft and liable to alter 
their form. Also quick-sands. 

Ship. — A term applied indiscriminately to any large vessel, but 
among seamen restricted to one which is full rigged. (See Full- 
rigqed Ship.) 

To ship. — To put a thing into its proper position for working, 
as " to ship oars, " to put them into the rowlocks preparatory 
to rowing. "To ship the rudder," to hang it ready for use, 
etc. And if to ship is to put a thing in working position, 
then to unship is to take it off. Thus to unship oars " is to take 
them out of the rowlocks, and to " unship the rudder " to unhinge 
it. From this it will be seen that to ship is not necessarily to bring 
within the ship, but in most cases it is so, as to ship a cargo; to 
ship hands (men) ; to ship stores, etc., which is to take them on board. 



To ship a sea. — To be overtaken "by a wave, or to plunge into it so 
that it comes into or over the ship. 

Shoal. — I. Shallow. 2. A shoal is a shallow place. 

Shore.— The margin of the sea, or of a river. ((See Foreshore.) 
Those living close to the shore are called " shoresmen," to dis- 
tinguish them from those living inland. So also a shore raker is a 
man who hangs about by the waterside. (See Loafer.) 

Shores. — Props placed under a vessel while building or in a dry 
dock, or it may be to keep a vessel upright when she is aground. 
She is then said to be shored up. 

Shot. — An additional cable's length. (See CABLE.) 

Shot in the locker. — An old expression signifying money in one's 
pocket. The old motto is "Never say die whilst there's a shot in 
the locker. ' ' 

Show a leaf. — An exclamation meaning " Show that you are in 
earnest, " or otnerwise. " Look sharp ! " The term is derived from the 
old saying that if a man showed a leg out of his bunk it might 
reasonably be considered that he was about to rise. 

Shrouds. — Strong ropes supporting a mast laterally ; they are 
now almost always of wire rope. They take their names from the 
spars they support, as the main or mizzen shrouds, the topmast 
shrouds, the bowsprit shrouds, etc. In large vessels they are con- 
nected by small ropes to form ladders ; these ropes being called 
ratlines or rattlings (which see). The shrouds of fore-and-aft 
rigged masts are fitted in the following manner : — One piece of wire 
rope is doubled so as to form two legs. A little below the bend these 
parts are seized together, forming what is called a collar, i.e., a loop ; 
and this collar being passed over the head of the mast, both legs 
come down on the same side of the vessel. Or if there be only one 
shroud, an eye splice is made at the upper end, which is passed over 
the mast in the same way. But the shrouds of 
large square rigged masts are not fitted in this 
manner. These communicate singly with a strong 
spider hoop beneath the mast-head, and thence ex- 
tend downwards to the sides of the vessel. And for 
small boats, or in case of having to rig up shrouds 
temporarily, a very simple method is employed by 
the fishermen. It consists in taking two ropes of 
sufficient length to span the boat from the mast- 
head ; making a simple overhand knot in the 
middle of one ; passing the other through it, 
thereby making a sort of slip knot of the two ; 
and passing the loop thus made over the mast 
head (or if that cannot be done the loop is made 
round the mast head) in the manner illustrated 
under Knot. At the end of each leg of the 
shrouds a dead-eye is turned in ; and a lanyard 
(a small rope) passing through this dead-eye and shrouds. 


another fellow to it on the channel plate allows the shrouds to be 
tightened (or set up, as it is technically termed) on each side. The 
dead-eyes are blind blocks — i.e., they have no sheaves, and for this 
reason the lanyards are less liable to slip through them. In rigging 
them it is customary to pass the lanyard through one of the eyes 
and, by making a stopper knot at the end of the rope, thus prevent 
it from slipping through. The other end of the lanyard may then 
be reeved through the holes in both dead-eyes and the shroud " set 
up." ((See Dead-eyes. ) The length of shroud from the dead-eyes 
on one side, over the mast and to the dead-eyes on the other side, is 
called the span of the rigging. 

Such are the shrouds of a lower mast ; others are fitted somewhat 
differently, as will be seen : — Topmast shrouds. — 1. On a fore-and- 
aft rigged mast, or one carrying only one topmast, such as the main 
mast of a cutter or the mizzen of a schooner, etc., the shroud is 
passed over the head of the topmast and extended by means of a 
cross-tree, shortly below which it terminates ; being then taken up 
by another length, or by a tackle with ropes called the legs. The 
reason for this is that when the topmast is lowered its shrouds may 
only just reach to the deck. For were they so long as to do this 
when the mast was up, they would be greatly in the way when it 
came down ; whereas, the shrouds being short and the legs movable, 
these latter can be disconnected and stowed away when the mast 
is lowered. 2. On masts which cany more than one topmast, as 
the fore and main masts of a bark or a brig — in other words, on a 
brig mast — the method above described is impossible, for even if 
practicable, the cross-trees and side gear would prevent the yards 
of the square sails from traversing about the mast. Another 
system is, therefore, necessary, and it is carried out as follows : — 
Each mast head is furnished with a large plate of iron called the 
futtock-plate, to which, by smaller plates, dead-eyes are attached ; 
and the shrouds which come down from the top-mast head also have 
dead-eyes, so that they may be set up in the same way as those of 
£he lower mast. 

Bowsprit shrouds are the ropes (usually of wire) which give 
lateral support to the bowsprit just as mast shrouds do to a 
mast. They are attached to a ring called the cranse-iron at the 
end of the bowsprit, and being taken up by tackles (like the legs 
of topmast shrouds) may be set up from the bow of the vessel. In small 
craft they are often attached to the bow by a set-screw or screw- 
tightener (which see) which, by being turned one way or the other, 
either tightens or slackens them. 

Shroud plates, or shroud irons. — Irons fitted to the sides of small 
boats to take the shroud tackles. They take the place of the 
channel plates of larger craft. (See Channels.) 

Side. — Side fishes. — In a made mast, the convex pieces which 
form the rounded sides of the mast ; to fish being to secure one 
piece of wood over another, usually for strengthening it. 



Side kelsons, or sister kelsons (in ship-building). — Side timbers 
forming kelsons beside the actual kelson, for extra strength. {See 
under Frame.) 

Signals. — " A system of symbols addressed to the eye — as flags, 
boards, lights, etc., for establishing communications at distances too 
great for the voice." It is impossible in this place to enter into the 
history and development of signals, or to mention one half the 
number of vaiying codes which have been brought forward! A few 
of those, however, most useful to the amateur sailor may be ex- 
plained. The International Steering and Sailing Rules should be 
studied ; they may be obtained at any marine publisher's, or found in 
Lloyd's " Seaman's Almanac " ; most books on amateur' sailing also 
give them. (See Mr. Christopher Davies' "Boat Sailing for Amateurs, " 
and other works.) These contain the regulations as to fog and 
distress signals, bights, and 

all other points necessary for 
sea cruising. With a know- 
ledge of them and of the 
International Code of Flag 
Signals, to which should be 
added an acquaintance with 
the storm signals of the 
Meteorological Office, the 
yachtsman may feel toler- 
ably confident of himself. 

International Code. — The 
flag signals are 18 in number, 
and a pennant or code signal, 
and it is by a combination of 
any number up to four that 
symbols representing words 
or sentences are made. The 
list of the code with instruc- 
tions as to signalling, to- 
gether with various official 
notices and regulations issued 
by the Admiralty and Board 
of Trade, edited by the 
Registrar -General of Sea- 
men, and published by the 
Committee of Lloyd's, price 
12s., should be obtained by 
those who wish to use them. 

Hoisted at the 

Want a Pilot. 

I Have Sprung 
a Leak. 


The flags themselves, in colour, are given in "Lloyd's Almanac" 
and other works. Inconsequence of the fact that colours are not 
distinguishable at a great distance, and further, that while on a 
still day they may not extend at all, and on a windy day they 
may be blown in a direction end on to the observer and still be unin- 
telligible, a second system, known as distance signalling, has been 



introduced into the International Code, its main characteristic being 
the ball, which is used in conjunction with plain pennants and 
square flags, of any colour, one or more balls appearing in every 
hoist. And beyond this there is the semaphore, which resembles 

Answering Pennant 

hoisted at Lloyd's 

Signal Stations in 

fair weather. 

Flag hoisted 
at Lloyd's 


What Ship is Ihat? 


the signal-post of a railway line, but has three arms, employed 
to represent either the ball, pennant, or flag of the distance signal, 
the same code being followed : an arm horizontal represents the 
ball, an arm pointing downwards a pennant, an arm pointing 
upwards a flag. A disc is exposed at the head of the post during 
the time the signalling is going on, and when no longer in use 
it comes down, and the arms fall and become invisible. To render 
the various symbols possible from small craft which cany neither 
balls nor signal flags, the following substitutes may be adopted 
and used as distance signals : — In place of the pennant — Any 
long strip of cloth, or, in lieu, any piece of board longer than it 
is wide ; in place of the flag — any square flag, a handkerchief, or a 
square piece of cloth ; in place of the ball — any object approaching 
the spherical in shape, as a hat or anything rolled up like a ball. 
And to effect a signal there must be two of each, because two 
balls, two pennants, or two flags have often to be lioisted together 
to form a symbol. 

The following signals come under the " Regulations for Pre- 
venting Collisions at Sea. " Fog signals, Art. 12. — Both steam and 
sailing vessels must be provided with fog horn and bell (except Turkish 
vessels, which employ a drum instead of a bell) ; and they are used 
in the following manner :— (A) A steamship under way shall make 
with her steam whistle, or other steam sound signal, at intervals of 
not more than two minutes, a prolonged blast. (B) A sailing ship 
under Avay shall make with her fog horn, at intervals of not more 
than two minutes, when on the starboard tack one blast, when on 
the port tack two blasts in succession, and when with the wind 
abaft the beam three blasts in succession. (C) A steam ship and a 


sailing ship, when not under way, shall, at intervals of not more 
than two minutes, ring the bell. Signals of distress, Art. 27. — 
" When a ship is in distress and requires assistance from other ships 
or from the shore, the following shall be the signals to be used or 
displayed by her, either together or separately ; that is to say — In 
the day time — 1. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute ; 

2. The International Code signal of distress indicated by N.C. ; 

3. The distant signal, consisting of a square flag, having either 
above or below it a ball or anything resembling a ball. At night — 
1. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute ; 2. Flames on the ship 
(as from a burning tar barrel, oil barrel, etc.) ; 3. Rockets or shells, 
throwing stars of any colour or description, fired one at a time at 
short intervals. " Signals for pilots are as follow : — In the daytime 
— 1. To be hoisted at the fore, the Union Jack, having round it a 
white border one-fifth of the breadth of the flag ; or 2. The 
International Code pilotage signal indicated by P.T. At night. — 
1. The pyrotechnic light, commonly known as a blue light, every 
fifteen minutes ; or 2. A bright white light, flashed or shown at 
short or frequent intervals just above the bulwarks, for about a 
minute at a time." * 

Meteorological Office storm signals. — These are sent to various 
stations in the United Kingdom announcing atmospheric disturbances 
near the coasts of the British Isles. 

The fact that one of these notices has been received at any station 
is made known by hoisting a cone three feet high and three feet 
wide at base, which appears as a triangle when hoisted. The cone 
is kept hoisted until dusk, and then lowered, but is hoisted again at 
daylight next morning, and so on until the end of 48 hours from 
the time at which the message was issued from London. 

The cone point downwards means that gales or strong winds 
are probable, at first from southward ; that is from S.E. round by 
S. to N.W. 

Should it appear likely that a gale will begin from W. and N.W., 
and also that it is likely to veer towards N. or N.E., the noi'th cone 
will be hoisted in preference to the south cone. 

The cone point upwards means that gales or strong winds are 
probable, at first from the northward ; that is from N.W. round by 
N. to S.E. 

Should it appear likely that a gale will begin from between E. and 
S.E., and also that it is likely to veer towards S. or S.W., the 
south cone will be hoisted in preference to the north cone. 

At dusk, whenever a signal ought to be flying if it were daylight, 
a night signal consisting of three lanterns hung on a triangular 
frame, may be hoisted in place of the cone, point downwards 
(for south cone) or point upwards (for north cone) as the case 
may be." 

Further information and a list of the Meteorological Office Signal 

* N.B.— A person who makes use of these signals except in necessity is liable for 
all risks or labour incurredby those answering it. 



Stations may always be obtained at the Meteorological Office ; and 
the reader may also refer to Lloyd's " Seaman's Almanac." 

Signal halyard. — The halyard used to elevate signals, burgees, or 
any other flags to a mast or topmast head. It is a thin rope rove 
through a small sheave hole in the truck, and in yachts, etc., is 
usually tied to the shrouds, a clove-hitch being a quick and secure 
knot to employ in fastening it. (See Knots.) By the flag halyard 
is generally understood (in fore-and-aft rig) that halyard which 
takes a flag (usually the ensign) up to the peak, and often called 
the peak line. {See under Peak.) 

Silent deaths. — A name given by fishermen to screw steam 
vessels, and possibly not altogether without reason. Those who 
have found themselves acci- 
dentally in too close proxi- 
mity to large steamers, more 
especially towards night, will 
appreciate the full meaning 
of the term, and will have dis- 
covered how silently these 
huge vessels creep along. 

Skid. — Wedges or sup- 
ports which fit under a vessel 
when launching. 

Skiff. — An open boat 
usually employed for plea- 
sure. It varies in form 
according to locality ; thus 
on the Upper Thames, the 
long light - built pleasure 
boats with pointed stems 
and extending sides are called skiffs, 
to distinguish them from the gigs, of 
the same district, Avhich are heavier and 
built with a straight sheer and upright 
stem. Lower down, on the same river, 
the gig, or something like it, becomes 
the skiff, while certain sailing boats 
go by the same name, and in commerce, 
an oyster skiff may become almost a 
fishing smack. The name is only 
another form of the word " ship." 

Oyster skiff. — A boat used in the 
oyster fisheries of the Essex rivers, 
and occasionally elsewhere. (See under 


Skimming dish. — A slang name 
sometimes given to the modern form of racing boat which, depending 
for its stability upon its centre-board, is so designed as to lie almost 
entirely on the surface of the water. 

Oyster Skiff. 

Skimming Dish. 


Skin. — The skin of a vessel is the planking which covers her ribs. 
Where the planking is double, the inner layer is called the skin, the 
outer being the case. 

Skipper. — The master of a merchant vessel ; called, by courtesy, 
captain, on shore, and always so at sea. The man employed as 
captain in a yacht is also called the skipper. 

Skirts (of a sail). — The main body of the sail. Thus a sail 
brailed up is sometimes said to "be gathered up by the skirts." 
{See Brail.) 

Sky. — Skylight. — A framework of wood, often glazed and made 
to open, admitting light and air into the cabin of a vessel. 

Sky sail. — The highest sail ordinarily set on a ship, though there 
can be others above it. It is only used in light winds, one on each 
mast, and the ship is then said to be "flying her kites." (See 
Light Sails.) 

Slack. — Loose or slow. — The slack of a rope is the loose 
part of it. 

Slack in stays. — A vessel is thus described when she is slow in 
coming round from one tack to another. (See Tack. ) 

Slack tide, or slack water. — That condition of the tide when it is 
nearly stationary. When it approaches its full it becomes slack 
and remains so until a short time after its turn. Likewise, but in 
a lesser degree, when it nears its lowest ebb it slackens, and 
remains slack until the full force of the incoming flood is felt. 
At the moment of its highest and lowest points, it becomes 
theoretically stationaiy. 

Slammer. — A slang term meaning a very heavy squall. 

Slew. — To swing round rapidly. Spoken sometimes of a boat 
under sail, if allowed to turn her head suddenly round to the wind. 

Slew rope. — A rope by which anything is slewed round. 

Sliding. — Sliding gunter. — A short pole for extending a sail 
upon a pole-mast. It takes the place of a gaff and slides up and 
down the upper end of the mast, thereby reducing or increasing sail 
as may be required. In theory this principle is undeniably good ; 
but for pleasure boats the practice has not become general, though 
at one time it was much used in the Royal Navy. 

Sliding keel. — The old name for a centre keel (which see). 

Sliding seats (in rowing). — Movable seats used in bight racing 
boats to enable the rowers to in- 
crease the length of their stroke. 
They may either run on metal or 
glass bearers or be carried on rollers, 
the latter method being now usually 
the favourite. It has been said that 
racing records since the introduc- 
tion of sliding seats have failed to 
prove their superiority over the 
fixed seats. This, however, is a SuniNG Seats. 





mistake : records are becoming lessened year by year ; and thougb 
the best times made on fixed seats may not appear to be so very far 
behind those of to-day, it must be remembered that a matter of a 
few seconds often means a considerable distance when boats are 
travelling through the water at racing speed ; while in comparing 
old records with those of to-day, conditions of wind, tide, and 
weather are too often left out of consideration. 

Sliding ways. — In shipbuilding, the baulks upon which a vessel 
slides into the water when launched. 

Sling.^-1. In square rig, the sling of a yard is the middle point, 
(See Yard.) 2. In fore-and-aft rig, a rope passed under any- 
thing to give it support or lift it by. An instance may be given : — 
It is the practice in yachts to put 
sail covers over such sails as can- 
not be readily bent and unbent, 
when the boat has been out and 
may be required again shortly. 
Thus the mainsail is lowered, 
furled and covered with the cloth, 
which is also laid over the gaff. 
But to do this the peak halyards 
must be removed, or otherwise the 
cover could not be taken over the 
gaff. The blocks are, therefore, 
unhooked, and when the cloth is 
passed over they are attached to slings which pass under the boom 
and over the cover (see fig.) 3. The topping lift in some sailing 
boats, the " Una " more particularly, and in those carrying lug sails 
is sometimes called the sling. 
Sling your hook. — A slang expression, meaning " Be off !" 
Slip. — To let go a thing purposely, as to " slip the anchor "—that 
is, to let it go from the ship. 

Slips. — In ship-building, the inclined 

plane upon which a vessel is built or 

repaired, the slope of which enables 

her to be " slipped " into the water 

when finished. 
Slip stoppers. — Slips or stoppers, on 

shipboard, are ropes used in letting go Jtlr-stau 

the lashings of a large anchor. J' 

Sloop (Dutch, sloep ; French, 

ehaloupe). — " A vessel with one mast 

like a cutter ; but having a iib stay, 

winch a cutter has not." This defi- 
nition, which gives the foundation of 

the difference between the cutter and 

the sloop, necessitates that the bow- 
sprit of the latter be a standing (or 

fixed) one, and not, as in the cutter, a Sloop. 


reeving one — i.e., one ready at any time to be drawn inboard : for 
in the sloop, the jib-stay takes the place of the cutter's fore-stay in 
giving permanent support to the mast, which it could not do were 
it liable to be shifted in or out with the bowsprit. The structural 
difference between the two is, therefore, in the fixing of the bow- 
sprit, while the result of this difference is seen in the arrangement 
of the head sails. In the cutter, the forestay is attached to the 
stem-head, and the foresail runs on this stay, the jib being set 
flying — tbat is, without a stay at all. In the sloop, on the 
other hand, the fore-stay (now called the jib-stay) is fixed to the 
nose of the bowsprit, and the jib is hoisted on this stay ; and it 
is generally made sufficiently large to do entirely away with the 
foresail. It may possibly be said that this large sail has as 
much right to be called a foresail as a jib, and so, perhaps, 
from a certain point of view, it has. But a jib, in the usual 
acceptation of the meaning, is a sail run out on a boom at the 
head of a vessel, irrespective of the manner in which it is set ; and 
as the sail in question answers to that meaning, it is properly 
called a jib. Moreover (though it is not customary), the sloop 
may have the two head sails common to the cutter, the jib-stay 
still remaining, and in such a case the confusion entailed by changing 
the names of sails would be very great. It will be understood from 
the above that the bowsprit of the sloop is usually shorter than that 
of the cutter ; and, indeed, in some cases, it is so short as to become 
little more than a bumpkin or jigger. 

The Americans have a method of fitting some of their racing 
yachts with a short fixed bowsprit, over which is run out a sort of 
jib-boom. The fore-stay is carried to the head of the short bow- 
sprit : this enables the size of the foresail to be greatly increased, 
while a jib is also set on the jib-boom. They call this sloop rig, and 
obtain very successful results with it. 

Further reference to the differences existing between the cutter 
and the sloop will be found under the heading Cutter, under which 
they are also illustrated. 

The sloop rig is very usual on the Norfolk broads, though else- 
where it is not so common. It is very handy in single-handed 
sailing, and may be applied to craft of almost any size. 

Sloop of war (old Naval term). — The general name at one time 
given to ships of war below the size of corvettes and above that of 
brigs. The term is still in use for a certain class of war vessels. 

Slops. — "A name given to ready-made clothes, and other 
furnishings, for seamen, by Maydman, in 1691. In Chaucer's time, 
sloppe meant a sort of breeches. In a manuscript account of the 
wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth, is an order to John Fortescue for the 
delivery of some Naples fustian for ' Sloppe for Jack Green, our 
Foole.'" (Smyth.) 

Slot. — A groove or hole for a pin. 

Sludge. — Mud deposited by a stream. 

Slue.— (See Slew.) 




I '.(UTS. 

Slush bucket. 
On ship board, the 
bucket containing the 
grease for the masts, 

Smack. — The name 
given indiscriminately 
to any sort of fishing 
vessel. But the fisher- 
men distinguish be- 
tween a smack and a 
boat, the smack being 
considerably the larger 
of the two and engaged 
exclusively in trawl- 
ing. It is wholly 
decked, and often sup- 
plied with a steam 
engine for getting in 
the trawl, whereas the 
boat is often (though 
of perhaps from 20 to 
40 tons burden) only half decked. The finest smacks in the world 
sail out of Grimsby, Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and some from 
Brixham. Formerly a boat for mercantile or passenger service was 
called a smack, even though as high as 200 tons burden. 

Smack smooth. — An expression signifying that nothing stands 
above the deck ; or that everything has been carried away, leaving 
the decks absolutely bare. 

Smart money. — The name given to the pensions of wounded 
men — calculated according to their rank. 

Smart tackle. — An expression used by sailors for the necessary 
certificates to enable a man to obtain smart money. 

Smoke-stack. — The funnel and its pipes, on a steam vessel. 

Snaffle, or shaffle. — A collar with open ends : one of the fittings 
of a boom to its mast. (See Gooseneck and Shaffle.) 

Snaking. — Much the same as worming, only usually done 
with larger stuff, as with a small line round a rope. It is said that 
the backstays of the ship " Shannon, " when she engaged the " Chesa- 
peake," were snaked with half-inch rope to prevent their falling 
asunder if shot away. 

Snarley-yow. — A discontented person. 

Snarl-knot. — A knot which cannot be drawn loose. 

Snatch. — Any guide or block for a rope to pass through, ao as 
to alter its direction. 

Snatch block. — An iron block of one sheave which is fitted so that 
a rope can be slipped into it without passing the end through. (See 




It has two masts 

Dumb snatch. — A snatch in which 
there is no sheave. 

Snood. — The attachment of a 
fishing hook to its line ; as the gut 
or gimp. 

Snotter. — The support into 
which the foot of a sprit is placed 
so as to prevent it from slipping ,$■„„ 
down its mast. In small boats it is 
usually a loop in a rope, in barges 
it is an iron ring. (See fig. ; also 
under Sprit.) 

Snow. — "A vessel formerly 
much in use. It differs slightly from a brig, 
similar to the main and foremasts of a ship, and close abaft the main 
mast is a trysail-mast. Snows differ only from brigs in that the boom 
mainsail is hooped to the main-mast in the brig and traverses on the 
trysail-mast in the snow." (Smyth.) The vessel is becoming extinct. 

Snubbing. — Bringing a vessel up suddenly 
with an anchor and short cable. Generally 
speaking, to snub is to check suddenly. 

Snug. — Ready for a gale or for the night, etc. 

Sny. — 1. A diminutive toggle, often attached 
to a flag. 2. In shipbuilding, one of the timbers 
in the bow of the vessel. Also a slight upward 
curve in a piece of timber. 

Soak. — A boat is said to soak up or down on 
the tide when, in making her way across the tide, she is carried up 
or down with it. 

Sod-bank. — A phenomenon sometimes seen in calm water. A 
multiplication of objects by refraction. 

Soft plank. — An easy berth on board a ship. 

Soldier's wind. — A wind which serves either way — therefore, a 
side wind. It is undoubtedly so called because when a vessel is 
once under way with such a wind — there being no tacking required 
— even a soldier can sail her. 

Sole (from the French sol — a floor). — A cabin deck is some- 
times called by this name. 

Sole of the rudder. — A piece added to make it level with a false keel. 

Sole plate. — A plate of iron forming the foundation for a marine 

Solstices. — "The epochs when the sun passes through the 
solstitial points." They mark the beginning of summer and winter 
much as the equinoxes do the beginning of autumn and spring. 

Sound. — 1. Sound, in perfect condition. 

2. An inlet from the sea over which soundings may be taken, as 
Plymouth Sound. A deep bay. 




Sounding. — Taking depth of water and the quality of ground, by 
the lead and line. Tallow being inserted into the hollow space at 
the bottom of the lead, will enable a small quantity of the ground 
upon which it descends to be brought up, and by this means an 
experienced navigator is enabled to judge his whereabouts in foggy 
weather, or if for any other cause he is unable to determine his 

Sounding line. — The instruments used in sounding. (See Lead 
and Line.) 

South. — Southing. — Distance southward. 
The opposite to Northing (which see). 

Southing of the moon. — The time at which 
the moon passes the meridian at any place. 

South-wester (pronounced "sou-wester ").— 
A waterproof hat, with a large flap behind, 
much used by fishermen and sailors. 

Span. — The span of a rope, or of the 
rigging, on shipboard, is the same as, in 
architecture, is the span of an arch — i.e., 
the distance across its extremities. It 
follows, therefore, that to form a span, a 
rope must be bent. And since a rope 
thus bent may be used for a multitude 
of purposes, the actual meaning of the 
word "span" has become forgotten, 
and the rope itself has come to be called 
the span. The span of the rigging ha, 
theoretically, the distance across the 
shrouds, from dead-eye to dead-eye ; 
but, for the reason above-mentioned, 
the span in practice is often, as des- 
cribed by Smyth — " The length of the 
shrouds from the dead-eye on one side, 
over the mast, to the dead-eye on the 
other side." But, in proof that this 
is not the actual and true span, we 
have the expression " To span in the 
rigging," which Is, according to the 
same authority, " to draw the upper 
parts of the shrouds together by the 
tackles, in order to seize on (attach) 
the cat-harpings, " or, in other words, 
to reduce (span in) the lateral span of 
the shrouds on one side, at the point 
where the cat-harpings are secured. 
Our business, is, liowever, with prac- 
tice, and the simplest definition which 
can be given of a span is, perhaps, 
a rope bent so as to form two legs. 


s 2 



Spanish Reef. 

Thus, a short rope or chain with both ends secured to a spar 

so that a purchase may be hooked to the bight (middle) is a span ; 

and this is the way in which the peak-halyards of a heavy gaff are 

usually fitted, whether in a yacht or in any other craft, thereby 

giving the peak a lift in two places. And, in the same manner, 

if a rope, having an eye or a block at each end, be attached by 

its middle to any portion of a ship's rigging, it forms a span ; 

and this arrangement is sometimes made use of as a guide for 

leading sheets or any other ropes in a desired direction . Again, in 

square rigged ships we find short ropes 

with blocks seized (fastened) into each 

end, hanging from the mast caps, the 

blocks taking the main lifts, topmast 

studding-sail halyards, etc. ; and these 

blocks, because attached to a span, are 

called span blocks. 

Spanish reef.— 1. In square rigged 

vessels, the yards lowered on the cap of 

the mast. 2. A method of reducing 

the size of (reefing) a jib sail, by tying 

the head of it into a knot. 

Spank. — To spank along is to be 

carried briskly along by a fine fresh, 

or, as it is often called, a spanking 


Spanker. — The gaff sail on the mizzen mast of a ship. It is also 

called the driver. It is not, however, the gaff sail on the mizzen 

mast of a bark : that is the mizzen ; and the same on the barkentine. 
Spar. — A spar is one of the timber members of a vessel's gear 

disunited from the rest. A boom, a gaff, a yard, or any other such 
member, is itself a spar ; and all these, taken collectively, form the 
spars of a ship. Thus we may come across a member of which we 
do not immediately recognise the purpose ; but we know it at once 
to be a spar. 

Spar deck. — (Possibly meaning "spare deck.")— (See Deck.) 
Speaking trumpet. — An instrument used on shipboard for 
speaking to someone at a distance or in a high wind ; and if the 
amateur proposes to take his boat to sea or to visit strange waters 
he will often find it useful. 

Spell. — Usually a period of work allotted to a man (see also 
TRICK), but it often implies merely a period; as " I shall take a 
spell on deck," meaning I shall go on deck for a time." The word 
is much used at sea : in its old sense it signifies taking another's 
place, from whence may be derived the exclamation "Spell ho!" 
meaning " time to be relieved," " time to cease," or " time to rest." 
Spencer. — In square rigged vessels, a fore-and-aft gaff sail 
introduced on the main-mast in place of the mizzen staysails. 
They are generally attached to the gaff by hoops (like the 




Spider Hoops. 

mast-hoops) ; and either drawn in along the gaff or brailed up like 
the sail of a barge. 

Spent. — Broken or injured in sucli a manner as to be no longer 
serviceable. We often hear of a spent mast or any other spar ; some- 
times of a spent sail, when it is torn. 

Spider Hoop. — 1. In yachts, etc., a metal hoop round the 
lower part of a mast, fitted with belaying pins for the various 
halyards, and often with one or two shames, to take gooseneck 
joints. When there are two 
shaffles, one is aft to take the 
boom, the other forward for a 
spinnaker boom. 2. In ships 
there is another spider hoop on 
those masts which are square 
rigged. It is placed under the 
futtock-plate and fitted with 
eyes to take the shackles of the 
futtoek shrouds. (See Futtock- 
plate and Shrouds.) 

Spile. — The name for a 
short spike or pin. 

Spill (of a sail). — To cause 
it to cease its action, whether it be by lowering it or by so bringing 
it to the wind that it no longer draws. It is found in practice, and 
more especially in large vessels setting square sails, that a sail will 
continue to hold wind for an appreciable time after the vessel has 
been brought up head to wind ; and before a large sail is furled it 
is necessary to empty it, as it were, of the wind it holds. This may 
be done by bringing its side directly to the wind and letting it flap 
itself free of wind, or, in other words, spill itself. With small 
craft to spill is usually to lower, or partly lower, a sail. 

Spinnaker (in yachts). — A racing sail of immense spread, 
reaching from the topmast head to the end of the spinnaker boom, 
which is a spar set out to take it. The spinnaker is set on the 
weather side, that is on the side opposite to that on which the main- 
sail stands, and is kept in position by guys forward and aft. It 
follows from this that it can only be used in such a situation when 
running : but in some instances it can be carried forward when the 
boat comes on to the wind, and by taking the boom along the bow- 
sprit the sail may thus be made to do service as a balloon jib ; and 
in this manner it is now often employed in small craft. (See fig. 

Spinnaker topsail, more properly called the big topsail. — A top- 
sail on the principle of a lug-sail, but the clew of which is ex- 
tended on a short yard called a jack yard (which sec). It has no 
connection with the spinnaker, except that it is often used at the 
same time. 
Spirit compass. — The modern and improved form of mariners' 


compass, in which the card floats in spirit instead of heing balanced 
on a pin. 

Spirkets, spirketting. — A term in shipwrighting. (See Quick 
Work. ) 

Spit. — A small projection of land, or a sand bank projecting at 
low tide into the water. The term is common where the shores of 
the sea are flat, or, again, as in " Spithead." 

Spitfire. — A name sometimes given to the smallest jib-sail a boat 
carries, and used only in very bad weather, or alone to steer by. 
(See Jib.) 

Splice. — A method of joining rope by interweaving the strands. 
It is a very useful art for an amateur to acquire, and though almost 
impossible to teach by description, can be easily learned. Any 
fisherman will be glad, for a few shillings, to impart the information. 
(See under Knots for simple splicing.) When two ends of rope are 
joined by untwisting the strands of only a short part of each, the 
union is thick and is called a short splice. If a long piece be un- 
ravelled on each rope and the join made fine, and well beaten with 
a marling spike, or any other weighty tool, so that the join may be 
passed through the sheave hole of a block, it is known as a long 
splice. An eye-splice is made by turning up the end of a rope, and 
splicing it into the rope itself so as to form an eye at the end. 

To " splice the main-brace " is one of the many metaphorical ex- 
pressions used by seamen in old times. "The phrase," says Dr. 
Denham Robinson, " denotes an extra allowance of spirits in cases of 
cold or wet." (Brande and Cox.) 

Splicing -fid. — A spike for opening the strands of a rope when splicing 

Sponson, or sponsing (in paddle-wheel steam boats). — The 
staging between the paddle box and the vessel's sides. It adds 
strength to the paddle-box, and forms a platform upon which the 
men may stand who work the springs (ropes) by which the vessel is 
held at the proper distance from a quay or pier. 

Spoon drift. — Spray or moving foam from the top of waves. 
The result of a sudden squall, generally a white squall. 

Spooning, or spooming. — Driving before a heavy gale. 

Spray. — The foam of the sea thrown up by breakers or by the 
water dashing against rocks, etc. 

Spring. — The name given to a rope temporarily attached to a 
buoy, pier, or dock, and by which a vessel or steamboat is hauled in 
and held for a time. It is called after the position it occupies 
with regard to the vessel, as the "forward spring," the "quarter 
spring," the " after spring." 

To spring is to crack or split, usually spoken of a spar, as to spring 
the mast, or to spring the bowsprit. 

The spring of a vessel is her elasticity under sail. 

Spring a leak. — A vessel taking water by any accident is said to 
spring a leak. The flags N.S. in the International Code signify " I 
have sprung a leak. " 



Fig. 1. 

Spring stays are extra stays to assist the usual stays in any undue 

Spring tides. — The tides at full and new moon, when 
(the sun and moon heing in a line with the earth and 
consequently raising the waters of the ocean to a maxi- 
mum) the tides are at their highest and lowest. At 
these times the tide is high approximately at 12 o'clock, 
and low at 6 o'clock ; when therefore we meet with the 
expression " between 12 o'clock high and 6 o'clock low 
water " we know that the spring tides are meant. 
Questions of law occasionally arise with regard to that 
portion of the foreshore whicli lies between the low 
water-mark of neap tide and that of spring tide. (See 
also Lagging and Making of Tides.) 

Sprit. — Sprit sail (often pronounced by the fisher- 
men, as it is in Holland, — " spreet "). — The word 
" sprit " is very ancient, and indeed, of Saxon origin, 
meaning " to sprout " (spoken of a pole). Hence, we 
have the bow-sprit, which sprouts out from the bow ; and 
the sprit sail, in old ships, was set under the bowsprit, 
while, in very old representations, a small mast rises 
from the bowsprit, carrying that which is described as 
a sprit top-sail. The sprit, in modern sailing craft, is a pole set 
diagonally across a fore-and-aft sail to extend that sail by the 
peak. The heel of the sprit is placed in a loop, called the 
snotler, which is either suspended from the masthead, and held in 
to the lower part of the mast 
by a ring or grommet, — and this 
is the system followed on barges 
(see fig. 1) ; or, in small open 
boats, it may consist simply of a 
grommet fitting closely round 
the mast, and over the end of 
the sprit, the tension preventing 
it from slipping down. (Both 
of these are illustrated under 
Snotter.) The head of the 
sprit fits into a cringle made 
to receive it at the peak of 
the sail, which is thus set 
up tighter as the snotter is 
brought nearer to or elevated 
on the mast, and vice versa. 
The advantages of this rig are 
that the sau, having brails 
round it, may be gathered up 
almost instantaneously (tig. 2, 
also diagram under Brail) ; 
and that, when reefing, it may Fig. 2. 



Fig. 3. 

either be loAvered, as with boom 
sails (i.e., reefed down), or reefed 
upward, i.e., without lowering, as 
may often be seen in hay barges 
and the like. 

Sprit and foresail. — The sprit 
sail, as applied to small boats, is 
used in conjunction with a fore- 
sail, in consequence of which the 
combination is called the sprit and 
foresail rig (fig. 3). It was at one 
time very popular, but is now dying 
out except in the case of barges, 
to which it is peculiarly adapted. 

Sprocket. — An old name for the barrel or wheel of a capstan. 

Spun yarn (pronounced by the fishermen "spuniari)." — The 
fibres of old rope twisted into yarns ; in other words, a species of 
string. It is used for serving, etc. When tarred it is sometimes 
called whipping. 

Spur.— 1. A small cleat. {See Thumb Cleat.) 2. Spurs. — 
Timbers used in the launching of a vessel. 

Squadron. — Part of a fleet under a flag officer. The principal 
yacht club in the kingdom is called the Royal Yacht Squadron. 

Squall. — A sudden gust of wind, or a sudden increase in its force. 
There are white squalls, such as those met with in the Mediterranean 
and Eastern seas, and black squalls, such as we are familiar with in 
this country. If a beginner in the art of sailing be overtaken by a 
squall he should quickly put his boat up into the wind, and lose no 
time in taking in sail. On rare occasions it may be necessary to 
run forward and cut the halyards ; such, however, is a last resource. 
Should he see it coming, however — and there is, usually, no mis- 
taking its appearance when once seen — the boat may be luffed up 
and the sail lowered to meet it. It is a good rule for the amateur 
to follow the professional. If he be sailing in squally weather and 
within sight of beach or fishing craft, let him keep an eye on those 
to windward of him. If they take in sail it is high time he should 
do the same, for they know the temper of the elements better than 
ever he can hope to. 

Square. — Square rig. — The name given to that method of dis- 
posing the sails of a ship in which they hang athwart the ship. They 
are then called square sails, in contradistinction to those which hang 
in the same line as the keel and are c&WeA fore-and-aft. The name 
" square rigged " is given, as a general rule, to those vessels which 
carry square sails, notwithstanding that they carry fore-and-aft 
sails at the same time. Thus a bark, a brigantine, and a. topsail 
schooner are square rigged, while a cutter, a yawl, and many 
schooner-yachts are fore-and-aft rigged. And yet the discrimina- 
tion must be considered somewhat arbitrary, for there are vessels 



KETCH Setting Square Sails. 

wluchcarry square sails, and 
even square top-sails, and 
which are always described 
as fore-and-aft rigged. It 
was indeed at one time the 
practice on cutters, sloops, 
yawls, etc., all of which 
we now regard as purely 
fore-and-aft rigged, to set 
square sails for running. 
These, of course, are obso- 
lete so far as yachts are con- 
cerned, their place having 
been taken by the spin- 
naker. But they still exist 
in many of the coasting 
craft, notably in the ketches, 
billyboys, and barges. The 
ketch may often be seen 
with a big lower square 
sail, and on rarer occasions with one or two square topsails. These 
are illustrated under the headings Ketch and Billyboy, and the 
accompanying figure illustrates a vessel setting both. These are 
called the square sail, or square top-sail, as the case may be, the latter 
being sometimes set alone between the upper and lower caps of the mast- 
head, as described under Middle Topsail. 

Square stem and square stern. — A square 
stem is one which meets the water at a 
right angle, and a raking stem or bow that 
winch meets it at an acute angle. A square 
stern is a stem cut off square, that is, having 
no counter, the rudder being braced to the 
boat outside it. This is generally the build 
of bawleys and dredging boats ; it enables 
nets or dredges to be worked, if necessary, 
over the stern. (See fig.) 

Square knot or right knot. — Names, 
among others, by which the reef-knot is sometimes called. 

Squirm. — A twist in a rope is sometimes thus called. 

Stability is the tendency in a boat to keep the upright, or to 
return to it when careened over. Boats are designed in accordance 
with the law of hydrostatics, that pressure exerted upon a liquid 
surface is transmitted equally upon all parts of a body immersed. 
Their form is, theoretically, such as to present a larger surface to 
the pressure of the water when heeled over than when upright ; and 
they are constantly tending, therefore, to preserve or regain the 
natural equilibrium. Breadth, of course, will increase this tendency ; 
depth furnishes a resistance to the force of wind upon sails ; while 
length decreases the tendency to lateral movement, called lee-way 

Square Stem and Stern. 


(which see). It is in the proper application of such data that the 
quality of stability — called stiffness by seamen — is obtained. (See 

Stage. — A gang-board with side rails, to enable persons to walk 
on board a vessel alongside a quay, etc. 

Staith. — A landing place in a river. The term is very common in 

Stanchion (sometimes called stanchard). — An upright post in 
the frame of a ship. Certain stanchions support the beams in a 
vessel, others are to be found along the bulwarks. (See Frame.) 
The small posts sometimes seen running round the gunwale of a 
launch, yacht, or part of a deck, and supporting a man-rope, are 
also called stanchions. 

Stand. — Stand by. — An order to be ready to do something ; as 
" Stand by at the anchor," i.e., make ready to let go the anchor. 

Stand clear. — Keep out of the way; as " Stand clear of the cable." 

In sailing : — 

To stand out, is to be sailing out from the shore. 

To stand in, to be coming in towards it. 

To stand on, to continue on the course. 

Stand up to within & points, 4 points, etc. (See under SAILING.) 

A sail is said to stand when it is lifted. Thus it may stand 
well or ill. 

Standing bowsprit. — A bowsprit which is fixed, such as that of a 
sloop, in contradistinction to one which reeves in and out as does 
that of a cutter. This is the distinguishing mark between those 
two rigs. (See diagram under SLOOP. ) 

Standing lug. — A lugsail without a boom, or its tack made fast 
by the mast. (See Lug. ) 

Standing part of a rope or tackle. — That part which is'made fast, 
in contradistinction to the running part, whicli is the part hauled 

Standing rigging. — The ropes which support masts, and the 
disposition of which, therefore, is not continually being altered, 
constitute that which is called standing rigging, in contradis- 
tinction to «those which, being attached to the sails, are constantly 
moving, and form the running rigging. Shrouds and stays consti- 
tute standing rigging. The standing rigging of a cutter yacht is 
as follows: — (See diagram No. 1 under RIGGING.) To the lower 
mast — 1. The shrouds, which support it laterally. 2. The fore- 
stay, preventing it from being drawn backward. 3. The backstays, 
preventing it from going forward : these are sometimes called runners, 
because they may be slackened off as the boom swings over or when 
running before a wind. The jib-stay of the cutter is not, properly 
speaking, a stay, being a running and not a standing rope ; but in 
the sloop it takes the place of the forestay. To the topmast — ■ 
4. The topmast shrouds and legs. 5. The topmast forestay . 6. Top- 
mast backstays, otherwise known as the preventers, used in large 


yachts which carry a great press of canvas. To the bowsprit — The 
bowsprit shrouds, to prevent it from bending sideways. 7. The bob- 
stay, to bowse it down, in counteraction to the pull of the forestay 
and topmast forestay ; and 8. The bobstay trice. 

Standard. — Standard knee. — 1. In shipbuilding, a knee or 
bracket placed above the object to which its horizontal arm is 
bound — i.e., in an inverted position. 

2. Standard. — In heraldry, a large square flag bearing the 
whole of the achievements of the monarch or nobleman, as seen 
in the Royal Standard of England. 

Starboard. — The right-hand 
side of a vessel. 

Starboard tack. — A vessel is on 
the starboard tack when the wind 
blows from the starboard or right- 
hand side. "Vessels on the port 

tack give way to those on the vllkvv^k \ * rcrrtroarat 
starboard tack. (See Rule of 
THE Road.) This may easily be 
remembered from a common expres- 
sion among sailing men generally : ^^F^^k Starboard 
the phrase has a double meaning, Mb8B Side 
as will be seen ; it reminds one at ^^^PJ^ap^- 
the same time which is the star- 0n th ^starboard Tack. 
board side and which is the safest 

tack to be on : — " When you are on the starboard tack you are on 
the right (hand) tack." 

Starboard the helm, helm a'starboard. — Put the tiller over to the 
right, or starboard, side. 

Starbowlines (pronounced " starbolins "). — The old name for 
men on the starboard watch. (See Watches. ) 

Start. — To move or loosen. Also to become injured or to break. 
Thus a plank which it may be desired to take out of a vessel is said 
to be started when it is loosened. And if it should crack or break 
through some accident, while at sea, it is said to have started. 

Starting bolt. — A bolt used to drive out other bolts from a timber, etc. 

Stave. — To break a hole into anything. Also to fend or guide 
off some one object from another. Thus a vessel may be in collision 
and have her bows or side stove in. Or she may be fortunate enough 
to evade the threatened danger by pushing, or slaving, it off. 

Stays. — Supports. Strong ropes, mostly of wire, supporting 
spars, and more especially masts. They form part of the stand- 
ing rigging of a vessel. Stays running in the direction of the 
length of the vessel are called fore-and-aft stays. When they lead 
across it they become shrouds, back-stays, bowsprit shrouds, etc. 
Other supports answering various purposes may also be called stays, 
as boom stays, counter stays, stay-pieces, etc. (Sec below.) Stays 
take their names from the spars they support or from the direction in 


which they run, as the top-mast-stay supporting the topmast ; the back- 
stays, running backward, etc. The stays of a cutter yacht are de- 
scribed under the heading RIGGING. Those of a large vessel are ac- 
cording to the number of masts she has ; and they may be variously 
disposed. Thus in old ships the fore stay runs to the end of the 
bowsprit ; the main stay through a collar half-way up the foremast 
to the stem head ; and the mizzen stay to a collar on the base of tbe 
main-mast. In more modern vessels the fore-stay extends only to 
the stem and the main stay to a collar at the base of the foremast ; 
while in two-mas ted vessels a triatic stay often takes the place of 
the main stay. 

Boom stays. — The support of a boom to its mast. This may be 
either a collar (the shuffle) on the spider-hoop to take a goose-neck 
joint {which see) ; or it may be a bolster upon which a boom with 
jaws may rest. 

Counter stay. — A timber supporting the counter of a vessel. (Sec 
diagram IV. under Frame.) 

Spring stay. — In large vessels, an accessory to a principal stay, 
and running nearly parallel with it. 

To stay forward (of a mast). — To rake or lean forward, the 
result of being pulled forward by stays. By raking masts is 
understood to mean those which lean slightly backwards. To be 
stayed forward is the opposite to this. (See Rake.) 

In the working of a ship there are certain stays (shifting back- 
stays) the positions of which require altering every time the vessel 
comes about from one tack on to another. (See Tack.) And from 
this circumstance a number of expressions employed in seamanship, 
having reference to the tacking of a ship, have been derived. They 
are as follow : — 

To stay is to tack, or go about. To be in stays, or hove in stays, is 
to be in the act of going about. To be slack in stays, to be slow 
or unhandy in coming about, as some vessels are. Or if the vessel 
comes round quickly and without trouble, she may be called handy, 
or quick in stays. 

To miss stays is to fail in getting about ; the result being that 
the boat becomes "hung up in the wind," as it is called. 
This is an accident which may occasionally happen to very long 
boats, especially when the wind is light ; but it may also be 
the fault of the helmsman in having put his tiller too rapidly 
down, or in having failed to get sufficient way on the boat 
before putting her round. When, therefore, it is desired to go about 
the tiller should be put over steadily — not slowly, but deliberately, 
and, as it were, to feel the boat round. This is an art which requires 
a little experience, more especially as boats vary, some coming 
about much more quickly than others. 

To refuse stays. — Much the same as to miss stays, except that 
some boats literally cannot be got round at any time. This 
will hardly be the case with a sailing vessel, though she may 
occasionally miss stays ; but with steam-boats under sail, as for 


instance with launches rigged for occasional sailing, it is frequent 
the engines having to be started to get the boat about. 

Stay-sails. — Those which are set on the stays between the masts 
of a ship, or as head sails. They are mostly, therefore, jib-shaped 
(triangular) ; though not necessarily so, for in old ships they were 
often oblong (or parallelogrammic, to be more correct) in shape ; and 
being sometimes roached head and foot, presented a very curious 
appearance. Even in the present day it is not uncommon to 
see them shaped as a jib with the nose cut off, the luff running 
on the mast. This luff is called the nock (under which heading 
its appearance is also illustrated). The great use of stay sails 
is to enable a vessel to sail full and yet by the wind; i.e., 
with her sails full, and yet close-hauled. (Sec Full AND By.) The 
foresail of a cutter or yawl, inasmuch as it runs on the fore stay, 
may be equally correctly called the forestay sail, just as the sail 
more commonly known as the jib topsail is actually the topmast 
forestay sail ; and besides these the schooner may set staysails be- 
tween the fore and main masts. But we often see, in certain fore- 
and-aft rigged coasting craft, sails answering precisely the same 
purpose as staysails, though unconnected with stays. The ketch 
type, for instance, sometimes sets a large triangular sail ahead of 
the mizzen mast (see figure under Ketch) ; while even a barge may 
occasionally be seen with a small one set on her little jigger mast. 

Steady. — To keep a vessel steady is to keep her on her course 
without deviation. If a helmsman receive the order " Steady !" it 
will often mean that he is to keep the boat from yawing about, as 
she may be liable to do in a heavy sea. 

Stealer. — In shipbuilding, " a short length of plank worked in 
among the other strakes to facilitate rounding off in parts of great; 
curvature. " (Brande and Cox. ) A strake is a line of planking along 
a vessel's side ; and one of the planks which form the strake, if short and 
not reaching either stem or stem post, may also be called a stealer. 
Steam launch.— (See Launch.) 

Steer. — To steer is to guide a boat, whether under sail, steam, or 
oars. To do this properly a steersman must be acquainted with the 
theory of the helm, and should know the rule of the road. (See 
Helm and Rule OP THE ROAD. ) No better rule for steering could be 
given than that contained in the following comparison of helmsmen : 
— " A good helmsman opposes in time the tendency of the ship to 
deviate from her course by a small motion, which he relaxes as soon 
as the effect is felt, thus disturbing her sailing as little as possible. 
A bad helmsman gives her too much helm, and keeps her perpetually 
yawing from one side to the other." (Brande and Cox.) 

Steerage way. — Way sufficient to enable a boat to be steered. 
(See Way.) 

Steerage. — In a steamship. That part of the vessel having the 
poorest accommodation, and occupied by the steerage passengers or 
those paying the lowest fare. The word seems to be derived from 


the circumstance that these passengers were, in earlier times, 
placed in the after or steerage part of the vessel. 

Steeve. — The steeve is the angle a bowsprit makes with the 
horizontal. In very early ships this member was so lifted up as to 
become almost perpendicular ; in each succeeding design, however, it 
continued to be lowered until it now almost approaches the horizontal. 

The bowsprits of schooner yachts have often a steeve, and large 
vessels nearly always ; but it is rare in small craft, the bowsprit in 
them usually lying along the deck. 

Stella code. — A code for signalling invented by Major A. 
Stewart Harrison, of which the following will give some idea : — 
" The whole arrangement is most simple, and consists of a large 
board with a spot at the top (the pennant) and four spots on either 
side, with convenient board space between (making nine spots in 
all). These are obliterated or brought into view by a very simple 
arrangement of slides, and the number and position of the spots on 
the board transmit the message. " (Quoted by Winn, " The Boating 
Man's Vade Mecum.'') The Stella Code can be had from the 
publishers— Messrs. Brown and Son, 13, Drury Street, Glasgow — 
and of all chart sellers. 

Stem. — Stem, stem post, head post, or fore post. — The foremost 
timber of a vessel. The stem post is united to the keel inside by 
the deadwood, and outside by the stem band ; and at its head the 
breast-hook binds the upper strakes of the vessel firmly to it. Just 
as there is a keelson to the keel, and a sternson to the stern, so there 
is, in large vessels, a sternson to the stem, which gives to it an 
additional support ; and the whole is connected with the apron, 
which also secures the forward end of the strakes, thus rendering the 
bow, as it needs to be, a very powerful construction. (See diagrams 
under FRAME.) 

Stem band, stem iron, or keel band. — A band of iron connecting the 
keel and stem post. (See also under Keel. ) 

Stem head. — The head of the stem post. 

To stern a tide or current. To face it ; 
or, in other words, to meet it stem-on. 
Hence the meaning of the term in every- 
day conversation. 

Step. — A block of wood, with a hole 
or recess in it, to receive the heel of a 
mast. It is placed on the keelson of a 
vessel. Its object is not only to take Mast Step 

the heel of the mast, but to distribute 

its weight over the keelson as much as possible ; and in large vessels, 
where the masts are very heavy, the step stands upon an iron plate. 

Stern. — The after part of a vessel. 

Stern board. — 1. Sometimes a progress backwards, the result of 
an accident, and occasionally dangerous to small craft. (See Stern- 
way, below.) 



Stern Board. 

2. The term is also used as follows : — In making way against the 
wind a sailing vessel is bound to proceed in a zig-zag course ; the dis- 
tance she travels between each turn being called a board. (See Tack. ) 
There are occasions — as, for in- 
stance, when navigating a channel 
— when she may go a long distance 
on one board ; but, having to turn 
at last and finding the wind dead 
in her teeth, will be obliged, so 
as to gain the other side of the 
channel once more, to travel in 
a somewhat backward direction, 
thereby losing ground; and her 
progress in this backward direc- 
tion is therefore called a stern 
board. In the diagram the vessel 
is endeavouring to make a course 
due north with the wind north- 
west, and she sails within six 
{mints (in explanation of which 
ast term see under Sailing). She 
therefore proceeds forwards in a 
direction N.N.E. (i.e. 6 points 
from the wind), until she comes 
so near shore as to be obliged to 
turn, when her next course must be in a direction W.S.W. (6 points 
from the wind), which is actually going backwards, or, in other words, 
she then makes a "stern board." 

Stern fast. — A rope holding a vessel by the stern, just as a 
head fast is one holding her by the head. 

Stern post. — The post or stanchion at the stern of a vessel. It is 
kept in position by the transom, and on it is hung the rudder. This 
member, like the keel with its keelson, and the stem with its stem- 
son, is further strengthened, in large vessels, by an inside timber 
called the stemson. (See diagram under Frame.) 

Stern sheets, in an open boat, are the boards covering the floor 
space of the stern, just as the head-sheets cover the fore part. 
These boards are sometimes kept together by under pieces and lifted 
as one. Where cost is no object they are made in the form of 
gratings. (See diagram under Sheet.) 

Stern-way. — The way (distance) a vessel makes if carried stern 
first, as in a calm or in a current, or having missed stays. But 
stern-way is not lec-w&y : if a vessel sailing across the run of the 
tide be carried down on it ever so far, she makes considerable 
lee-way, but no stem-way. 

Stevedore. — A man whose business it is to undertake the 
stowage of cargo in ships. 

Stiff. — Stiffness is the quality of stability possessed by a boat, or, 
in other words, the capability of a boat under sail to keep the 




upright or to return to it when heeled over. (See STABILITY.) It 
is an exceedingly necessary quality in any vessel, for upon it depends 
the safety of those who venture in her. Seamen have various ways 
of expressing their admiration of a stiff craft, e.g., " as stiff as a 
house," "as stiff as a church," etc. 

Stirrups. — In square rig, short ropes hanging from the yards of 
a square sail and holding the horse. (See HORSE. ) 

Stock. — 1. Of a rudder, the upper part, upon the head of 
which the tiller is set. (See Rudder.) 2. Of a howsprit, that 
part at the foot of it which is held hy the bitts. (See Bowsprit.) 

Stomach-piece. — Another name for the apron (which see). 

Stools, — The channel plates of the hackstays. (See CHANNELS.) 

Stop. — A short rope used to confine a sail when furled or slopped. 
{See Ties.) It may also be a small projection, as on a mast or any 
other spar, to prevent anything from slipping down. 

To stop. — To tie anything up temporarily, as : — 

To stop a sail. — To tie it up preparatory to setting it. Sails 
which are set flying, such as jibs, 
a,re often tied up with a thin yarn 
before hoisting ; and when hal- 
yards, outhauls, etc., are all be- 
layed a sharp pull on the sheets 
will snap the yarn and the sail 
unfolds itself. Sometimes the 
sail is stopped and hoisted, but 
not unstopped until required. 

To stop a flag. — To tie it up. ./ a j"L* t 
Sometimes this is done to make '' 
it resemble a wheft for use in 
signalling (as in the fig.) ; and 
very generally a flag sent up on 
a tall mast is stopped before 
hoisting, to prevent its becoming 
entangled in the rigging as it ascends. 

Stopper. — Stoppering is to check or hold fast any rope. 

Stopper knot. — A knot made at the end of a sheet or any other 
rope to prevent it from flying out of its lead. Thus the jib and 
fore-sail sheets of a small yacht, which ran aft through fair leads, 
are usually stoppered with figure-of-8 knots. (See Knots.) 

Storm. — A disturbance of the atmosphere. Among seafaring 
men the term has but little reference to wind, but is generally 
understood to mean rain or thunder and lightning. 

Storm sails. — Those for use in bad weather. Such, on a yacht, 
are the storm-jib, the trysail, etc. 

Storm signal. — A signal, consisting of a cone, made at the various 
stations of the Meteorological Office in forecast of weather to be 
expected. (See Signals.) 

Storm wave. — A wave which comes rolling in without wind. It 
is said to mark the recent occurrence of a gale in some distant locality. 


Stove. — {See Stave.) — A vessel is stove in when she has heen 
bilged or broken into. 

Stow. — Stowage is the room in a vessel for cargo, and to stow 
the cargo is to pack it so that it will not shift as she rolls. 

To stow away anything is to put it in a safe place for future use. 

To stow away a boat is the same as to trim her down after a sail ; 
that is, to take in her sails, furl them, or stow them away, and to 
do all that will leave her in a condition ready to be taken out again 
at short notice. 

Stow-boat fishing, commonly called stow-boating . — A method of 
taking sprats in large quantities very much practised in the estuary 
of the Thames and along the East Coast. The fish thus taken are 
sold at prices varying, according to demand, from five or six shillings 
to as low as 4£d. per bushel, the smaller sums being paid for those 
sold as manure, for which they were at one time largely used, 
especially for hops, and are still, to a certain extent. The stow- 
boat net goes with two beams, which are kept square by anchors. 
To these a huge bag net is fixed, the mesh of which is extremely 
small. The fishermen say they have sometimes taken as many as 
300 bushels of sprats in a tide. 

Strain bands.— Extra bands of canvas, usually only seen on 
large square sails, to give the same support to the bunt of the sail as 
the bolt-ropes do to the leeches i 

Strake (often pronounced " streak, " from which, indeed, it is 
not impossible that the name is derived). — A strake is a line of 
planking extending the length of a vessel. It is needless to say that 
a single plank cannot extend the entire length of a vessel, and 
that a continuous line of planks must, therefore, be employed to 
effect this : it is this line of several planks which forms one strake. 
Strakes are variously named according to their position, as, for 
instance — 

Garboard strakes. — The lowest strakes of a vessel, being on the 
outside, next the keel. In small boats, the keel and garboard 
strakes are sometimes of one piece. {See Framk.) 

Limber strakes. — The lowest strakes on the inside, running, 
therefore, beneath the limbers. 

Sheer strakes. — Those immediately below the sheer ; they are of 
thick planking. 

Thick strakes are placed at different heights on the sides. 

Black strakes run along the flat sides of the vessel, outside. 

Wash strake. — The name sometimes given to a weather board 
{which see). 

The uppermost strake of a vessel is stronger than the rest, and is 
called the wale. In an open boat it is the saxboard. 

In clinker-built boats the strakes overlap ; in carvel, they meet in 
a smooth join. There is not much to choose between the two styles 
of building, each having its own advantages in its proper place ; but 
with many amateurs carvel is the more popular, and instances are 
not altogether unique in which a person having a clinker-built boat 




for sale has filled in the over-lapping of the strakes so as to imitate 
carvel — a process called doubling. Doubling is useful enough in 
renovating old boats, but the beginner in boat-buying will do well 
to assure himself that a doubled boat is not being palmed off on him 
as a carvel-built one. 

Strand (of a rope). — Threads of yarn twisted into a loose string. 
Strands compose ropes, just as the yarns compose strands. Three 
strands form a rope, though more may be employed. 

Stranded.—!. (Of a ship.) A'ground. Said of a vessel when she 
has been left by the tide. 2. (Of a rope). When one or more 
strands are broken, or worn through. 

Strap. — -An iron bar, forming a break to any machine in work, 
as a capstan. The grommet or band round a block, whether of rope 
or iron, is sometimes called the strap, but more often the strop. 

Stratus. — A low cloud usually hanging in horizontal bands over 
the horizon. 

Cirro stratus, a cloud of the same description as the above, but 
lying higher. (See also ClRRUS.) 

Stream. — The most rapid part of a tide or current. 

Stream anchor. — An anchor carried by large vessels, less than the 
bowers, but more powerful than 
hedges. It evidently derives its 
name from the fact that it is 
sufficient to hold the ship against 
the run of a stream without the 
necessity of dropping the bower 

Streamer.— A very long and 
narrow flag. 

Stress. — Hard pressure. The 
word is an abbreviation of " dis- 
tress, " and from this a vessel may 
besaid to put intoaharbour under 
stress of weather. 

Stretch. — Another name for 
a board, in tacking. (See Tack.) 

To stretch. — To reach ; or, in 
other words, to sail by the wind — 
i.e., with the wind ahead of the 
beam, but it may also mean to 
sail thus under a great crowd or 
stretch of canvas. 

Stretcher (in a row boat). — 
The movable piece of board, or 
it may be only a stick, against 
which a rower presses his feet. 
These are of various forms, ac- 
cording to the class of boat in Stretchers and Guides. 


-which they occur. No. 1, in the figures, shows a simple and very 
common method employed in open boats round the coast. No. 2 is 
a, style often found in Thames skiffs, up-river. No. 3 is the practice 
followed in best boats (racing out-riggers) : the sculler slips his 
feet, sometimes without taking off his shoes, into the large boots 
(which are a fixture), and laces them loosely up. But the beginner 
may sometimes find himself in a rough boat without stretchers. In 
such a case a useful substitute may be fashioned by taking a clove- 
hitch with the painter, at the right distance, round almost any piece 
of wood or iron (No. 4 in the fig.). Or if nothing can be found, 
the painter itself may do duty by simply bringing it under and 
taking a clove-hitch with it round the thwart, allowing, of course, 
sufficient length in the bight for the legs to get a purchase (No. 5). 

Stretcher guides. — The notches, grooves, or any other agents, by 
■which a stretcher is held in place. These guides are so designed 
that the rower may move the stretcher forward or back as required. 
Their form wall be understood by reference to the figures. 

Strike. — To take down. Spoken of a mast or sail, as to strike 
the topmast — i.e., to lower it. 

To strike the flag, also to lower it, but permanently ; not simply 
to lower and re-hoist as in saluting : — that is dipping. 

To strike sail. — The term is used by St. Luke, "and fearing lest 
they should fall into the quicksands they stroke sail, and so were 
driven'' (Acts, xxvii. 17). Thus they " scudded " before the wind 
under bare poles. 

String. — Sometimes the highest strake within the ship. (See 

Stringers. — Strengthening timbers running along the inside 
of a boat at various distances up the sides. Their true office 
is to assist in bracing the heads (ribs) together. The extra stout 
stringer upon which the thwarts (seats) of an open boat are placed is 
called the wiring. (See diagrams under FRAME.) 

Strip. — To dismantle. 

Stripped to the girt line. — An expression signifying that a vessel 
has been completely stripped. 

Strip to the buff. — Among rowing men and athletes, to completely 
undress down to the waist. Professional scullers usually " strip to' 
the buff " for their matches during hot weather. 

Stroke. — In rowing, the force used in propelling a boat 
through the water is called the stroke : and this action may be 
divided into two motions, 1 . The stroke proper, and 2, the recovery ; 
the first being the pulling of the oar through the water, and the 
second the thrusting of the arms forward in preparation for another 

Stroke. — In a boat, the sternmost rower, and he who sets the stroke 
for all the others, is called the stroke. In an eight-oared boat he is" 
No. 8, but is never spoken of as such, his title being " Stroke," and 
•as such he is always addressed. So, likewise, the headmost rower,' 

T 2 



though his position is No. 1, is always known as "bow"; but r all 
the others answer to their numbers only. Thus the composition of 
an eight-oar is as follows : — Bow (1), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Stroke (8), 
Coxswain. - 

Stroke side. — The side upon which the stroke man puts out hi& 
oar; that is, on his right-hand side. The terms starboard and port 
are never used in rowing ; the bow-side and stroke-side being spoken 
of instead. The stroke side is, therefore, the port side. {See 
figure under Bow.) 

Strong breeze. — A term signifying a certain measure of strength 
of wind. (See under WINDS.) 

Strop.— An iron or rope band or grommet. Sometimes it is a 
rope for hitching a tackle to, but usually we hear of the strop of a 
block, the band round the shell of the block which holds the entire 
thing together. 

Stud.— A short bar through the link in a stud-link chain, which 
is a species of chain much used by large vessels because of its great 
superiority of strength over other kinds of chain. (See figure under 

Studsail, or ringtail 
(pronounced "studs'l, " 
evidently only an altera- 
tion of "stuns'l," itself 
an abbreviation of stud- 
ding sail). — A narrow 
sail like the studding 
sail, run out beyond the 
leech of the mainsail of a 
racing cutter. (See fig.) 
It forms part of thepress 
canvas (which see) of a 
large yacht, but is not 
often employed. 

Studding - sails. — 
" In square rig, narrow 
supplementary sails run 
out on small booms be- 
yond the leeches of the principal square sails. Although ^not of 
great power from their size, they exert considerable force on the 
ship's movements from the leverage which their distance from the 
mast, as centre, gives them." (Brande and Cox.) (See fig.) 

Sugg. — To rock heavily on a bank or reef. 

Suit (of sails). — A set of sails. Thus a yacht may have several 
suits, as a suit of racing canvas, of cruising, or of storm sails. 

Supercargo. — A person superintending transactions relating to 
a vessel's cargo. 

Surf. — The breaking of the sea into short quick waves over 
shallow places. 

Water , 

x Stud$a/ti 
Studding-sails and Studsail. 


Surge. — The swell of the sea. 

To surge a rope. — To slacken it suddenly, where it goes round a 
pin, windlass, etc. 

Surge hoi — Notice given that a rope is about to he surged. 

Sutiles. — Ancient cobles made of strong staves sewed together 
and covered with leather or skin. (See Coracle.) 

Swab.— A mop. 

Swagg. — Synonymous with sag — i.e., to sink down by its own 
weight. (See Sag.) The sag of a rope is the bellying or drop when 
it is extended. 

Swallow. — The score in a block in which the sheave runs. (See 

Swalloio-tailed. — The shape of the flag called the burgee (which 
see), though not that flown by the ordinary members of a yacht- 
club. It ends in two tails. 

Swamp. — To be swamped is to be filled with water ; but not 
necessarily to sink. 

Swap. — A mop. The same as a swab. Also to exchange. 

Swash, (often pronounced " swatch "). — A shoal in a tideway, 
usually found at the mouth of a river. 

Swash way. — A channel across a swash or among several shoals. 
It is the result of a peculiar set of the tide, which also keeps it from 
silting up. There is an important swash way between the Goodwin 
Sands. Another runs round the Nore Sand in the estuary of the 
Thames, and is sufficiently deep to admit of the largest vessels enter- 
ing by it into the river Medway, and on the opposite shore again 
there is a permanent swash way not less than two miles in length, 
navigable for fishing craft, even at the lowest tides, almost up to 
the town of Leigh. A swash way is often called merely a swash or 
swatch, as the " Leigh swash " just mentioned. 

Swathe. — The entire length of a sea wave. 

Sway. — To hoist. To sway a yard or any other spar is to haul 
it up. 

Sweat. — To siveat up. — To haul up tight, or to swig upon, as 
halyards are swigged upon or " sweated up. " (See Swig. ) 

Sweater. — A thick jersey or vest used by rowing men when in 
training. Being very warm it conduces to perspiration or sweat ; 
and it is by this means that men get down superfluous fat. 

Sweep. — Sweeps are very long and heavy oars, for occasional use 
on board a sailing boat, as, for instance, to get her round should she 
" miss stays, " or to get her along in a calm. River lighters are 
mostly steered by sweeps, as they are carried up or down on the 
tide ; and this is called sweeping " — hence, to sweep up or down a 
river. Until comparatively recent years, even tolerably large 
sailing vessels, such as brigs and schooners, carried sweeps, more 
especially, it would appear, in case of being chased by an enemy. 
Thus the combined oars and sails of the ancients may be said to 


have survived almost to our own day. But the introduction of 
steam has completely altered the entire system of the sea. (For the 
names of the various parts of a sweep see Oar.) 

The sweep of the tiller. — The circle it describes when brought 
from one side of a vessel to the other. 

To sweep for anything lost at the bottom of the water, is to drag 
for it with a rope. Usually two boats are employed in doing this, 
each taking one end of the rope, and a weight being attached to it 
about midway to sink it. 

Swell.— An undulating motion of water, at sea always felt after 
a gale. A swell must be distinguished from a wash, as from a- 
passing steam vessel. (See Ground Swell and Wash.) 

Swell in, or take up. — To become water-tight. Spoken of the 
planks of a boat which will let in the water when she has been laid 
up for any length of time, but which will, when she is returned to 
the water, swell in after a few days. 

Swift. — To tighten up, as to " swift in the shrouds." 
To swift a vessel. — 1. To ground her preparatory to careening her 
for examination. 2. The art of careening her over. Either of these, 
or the whole operation, appears to answer to the term swifting. 

To swift a ship by the hull appears to be something akin to the 
ancient J 'rapping " (which see). It consists in passing cables round 
the hull. Smyth describes this as the " undergirdling " spoken of by 
St. Paul, while Falconer and others place that under frapping. 

Swifters. — Extra stays, usually forward of those which they 
assist, as the backstay fore swifters in a big ship. Certain ships 
are found to require an extra pair of shrouds, set forward of the 
usual ones, and these are called swifters. 

Swig. — To give the final pull on a purchase. Thus halyards, 
when the sails have been hauled up, are swigged upon by men laying 
all their weight upon them in sudden jerks and thus getting them a 
little tighter. This is also called sweating them up : it is always- 
done in yachts. It is important to the beginner to know that the 
halyard of a lug-sail should not be swigged upon after the tack of 
the sail has been drawn down. 

Swing. — Sometimes this has the same meaning as to sway ; as, 
for instance, to "swing a yard," which is the same as to "sway" 
or hoist it. 

Swing on the tide. — A vessel at anchor stoings when she changes 
her position at the turn of the tide. 

Stoing (in rowing parlance). — The swing of a crew is the motion 
resulting from the long, steady stroke-and-recovery of all the 
rowers together in good time. It is thought that nothing tends 
to increase and retain the speed of a boat so much as a good 
swing. A jerky stroke destroys the swing, and consequently 
reduces the speed. 

Swinging boom. — " The spar which stretches the foot of a lower 
studding sail ; in large ships they have goosenecks in one end, which 



liook to the foremost part of the 
forechains to iron strops fitted for 
the purpose. " ( S myth . ) 

Swivel. — An instrument con- 
sisting of a pin revolving in a link. 
Swivels are fitted between lengths 
of chain to prevent the chain from 
kinking. They are used in cables 
to connect two or more anchors 
with the main cable in the manner 
described under Hawse. They 
have also a number of uses on 
shipboard. (See fig.) 

Stoivel-rowlocks. — Those working 
in a swivel. (See tig.) 

Syren. — The name sometimes 
given to a steam-boat's fog horn. . 


Tab (of a sail). — The tab or tabbing is a broad piece of hemming 
on the edge of the sail, to strengthen it where bolt-hooks are 
situated. (See diagrams under Sail.) 

Tabernacle. — A housing or case on the deck of such vessels as 
have lowering masts. They are to be seen in barges, and occa- 
sionally in river yachts ; and have sometimes been employed to 
lengthen a mast by stepping it on deck instead of on the kelson. 
(See diagrams under Mast.) 

Tack, stay in stays, wind, go abont, beat, beat to 
windward, or work to windward.. — All these terms are to a 
certain extent synonymous ; but under the term tack is included 
several meanings. 

To tack (in sailing) is to perform the evolution called " Tacking " 
(See below). 

The tack of a sail is the forward lower corner ; also called the 
weather-clew. (See under Sail and Clew.) 

A tack is also a small rope by which this same weather clew is 
held down. On a balance lug sail it is fitted to the boom some way 
aft of the foremost end ; in other cases it may be attached to the tack 
of the sail itself. 

Tack purchase or gun tackle purchase. — The tackle applied to the 
tack of a fore-and-aft mainsail. 

Tack pins or jack pins. — Belaying pins in &fife rail, etc. (See PlN.) 

Tack trice or tack tricing line. — The rope which trices up the tack 
of a sail. 

To tack (in sailing) is to change the course of a vessel from one 
direction, or tack, to another, by bringing her head to the wind and 
letting the wind fill her sails on the other side ; the object being to 
make progress against the wind. It follows, then, that to tack her 
must be to turn her round, or, in other words, to go about: and as 


this must be done by bringing her head to wind, the operation is 
also very often called winding. To perform this, in large vessels, 
it is necessary to alter various stays, and hence, as the ship comes 
about, she may just as correctly be said to be staying, or in stays, 
while, if she fall to come round, she will be said to have missed 
stays. If a vessel miss stays, and cannot be east one way or 
the other, she is said to be in irons, or hung up in the wind. 
To go about, tack, wind, stay, or be in stays, are, therefore, 
terms all signifying the same act of bringing a vessel from one 
tack to another, head to wind, which is the direct opposite to 
wearing her. (See WEAR.) A vessel, then, is said to be tacking 
when she keeps changing her course from one tack to the other ; 
and the distance she makes each time she stands on one tack (that 
is each time she continues in a straight line without coming about) 
is called a board or stretch. This she will only do when the wind 
is against her; and, therefore, if tacking, it follows that she must 
be beating against the wind, or, in other words, beating to wind- 
ward. And as this is a performance often attended with difficulty, 
and always in a manner entailing a good deal of work on board, it 
is, as often as not, called working to windward or pegging to wind- 
ward. To beat or work to windward, or to beat up against the 
wind, are, then, practically the same as tacking. Now, there can 
be but two tacks (as there are but two sides to a vessel, viz., the 
starboard or right-hand and the port or left hand), called Starboard- 
tack or Port-tack according to the side from which the wind blows. 
(See Starboard Tack and Port Tack.) It is, therefore, upon 
these tacks that the Rules of the Road are founded, and with 
which every person intending to take up boat-sailing should 
become familiar. 

A boat when tacking will not bear anything like the same press 
of canvas as when sailing large. It is necessary, therefore, in a 
stiff breeze, before coming round to tack, to shorten sail. 

Tackle (Dutch takel ; and pronounced by us " tay-kle "). — A 
purchase formed by the combination of a rope with two or more 

The various parts of a tackle are as follow : — The rope is termed 
the fall ; the pulley wheels are called sheaves ; and the case which 
contains these the block. When a tackle is in use one end of the 
fall (rope) is made fast and called the standing end ; the other is 
hauled upon and called the running end ; but in every -day conver- 
sation that part of the rope which is hauled upon is often called the 
fall. Where a tackle is applied to a halyard (which is usually the 
case), that part of the rope which hangs between the blocks is called 
the pendant, and the part hauled upon the fall. (See under Pendant. ) 

A simple tackle consists of one or more pulleys with a single rope. 
The chief simple tackles are : — 

The whip. — A purchase consisting of only a single pulley, and 
therefore not, properly speaking, a tackle ; but when whip is placed 
upon whip then it becomes a true one. (See Whip upon Whip.) 


Gun tackle. — " A system of pulleys consisting of two single blocks, 
one movable, the other fixed, the standing end of the fall being made 
fast to the movable block. It increases the power three-fold." 

Gun tackle. — " A system of pulleys consisting of a double and 
triple block, the standing end of the fall being made fast to the 
double block, which is movable. It increases the power five-fold." 

But besides these there are many combinations in use, as the jigger 
tackle, which is one with a movable tail-block ; and luff tackle, used 
on various occasions to assist other tackles, and on ships to " suc- 
cour " the tackles attached to the tacks of square sails, and others. 

Tackle upon tackle, or a combination of tackles, is the application 
of a simple tackle to the running end of another as often as neces- 
sary, the result of their combined actions being found by multi- 
plying together the values of the several simple tackles. 

Overhauling a tackle is separating the blocks after they have been 
fleeted ; that is, brought close together, and their action thereby 
rendered void. 

Taffrail, or taffarel.— The stern- * " 
most rail of a vessel ; that is, the rail 
round the stern. Hence the sternmost 
part, or rim, of the vessel is often under- 
stood when the taffrail is spoken of. 

Tail. — Tail block. — A block having Taffrail. 

a rope strop (band) which is extended 

into a " tail " so that the block may be tied on to anything. It is 
sometimes called a. jigger-block. One leg of the tail is usually longe* 
than the other. 

Tail on. — 1. To attach ; as to clap on a rope to some other. 2. A 
ship aground by the stern is said to be tail on. 

Tail up or down. — Spoken of a ship at anchor, and describing the 
direction in which she lies. Thus if she be at anchor in a river and 
the tide be rising she will lie tail up because her stern, or "tail," 
will point up. 

Take. — Take charge. — A boat is said to take charge when she 
suddenly runs up into the wind, or can no longer be kept from 
doing so. The term is much used. 

Take in sail. — To reduce sail, either by reefing or by taking 
some sail altogether off. The latter meaning is more generally 
understood by the term. 

Take up, or swell in. — When a boat has been laid up for any 
length of time she may, when first put into the water, be leaky, 
if she does not nearly sink. This will be the result of her planks 
having shrunk ; but in time they will swell in or take up, as is 
sometimes said, and she will become watertight. 

Taking off tides. — Lessening tides : i.e. , the tides as they occur after 
full and new moon. (See Making and Lagging of the Tides.) 

Tallant.— " The upper hance or break of the rudder abaft." 


Tally. — A word properly used in commerce, and very generally 
at sea. To agree with the account of another person, on comparison 
with one's own (generally with regard to numbers), is to tally. 
The ancient practice of cutting notches in sticks, one stick being 
given to each party to a transaction, is regarded as the origin of our 
system of tallying. 

Tally (on shipboard). — To haul both sheets aft, as for running 
before the wind, thus—" Taut aft, the sheets they tally, and belay.' r 
(Falconer's " Shipwreck.") 

Tan. (for the preservation of sails). — A decoction of kutch or 
catechu with ochre, or some other colouring matter, strained after 
boiling. Sails may be steeped in this for several hours, after which 
they are washed and dried. The process of tanning is said to give 
several years of extra wear to sails. 

Taper (of a rope). — Rat-tailed: that is, diminishing towards a 
point. Ropes may be tapered and whipped so as to enable them 
to pass easily through eyes, etc. 

Tar. — This material is obtained in the distillation of various 
organic matters. There are three sorts of tar — wood, coal, and 
Stockholm. The residue from the distillation of tar is pitch. 

Tarpaulin. — Canvas well covered with tar or paint. The 
water-proof clothes worn by fishermen and sailors in foul weather 
(see Oil-skins) are often*called tarpaulins, and rightly so, for 
they are often saturated with tar or paint instead of with oil. 

Taunt. — Spoken of the masts and spars of a vessel when very 
liigh. When all her light and long spars are aloft she is said to be 
all a' taunt. 

Taut, or taught. — The seaman's pronunciation of the word 
"tight." But it has a much fuller meaning at sea, and often 
expresses neatness ; properly disposed ; prepared for any emergency, 

Taut bowline. — A ship is described as sailing with a taut bow- 
line when she is close-hauled to the wind, because in that situation 
her bowlines (being ropes which draw the leeches of square sails for- 
ward) are hauled tight. 

Taut helm. — When a vessel carries much weather helm, she is 
said to have a taut helm. 

Taut leech. — A sail well filled and standing flat is said to " hold a 
taut leech." 

Tell-tale. — Generally speaking, an instrument by which a 
person can obtain certain records. Thus an inverted compass swing- 
ing on the ceiling of a cabin tells the tale of a ship's course ; or a 
dial plate on the wheel shows the position of the tiller. 

Tell-tale shake.—' 1 The shake of a rope from aloft, to denote that 
it wants letting go." (Smyth.) 

Tend. — I. To have a tendency ; as " she tends to bury her 
head." 2. The swing of a vessel on the tide is her tend ; as " she 
is tending up. " 



Tender. — A small vessel employed to attend a larger one. 

Tenon. — Any piece of material so cut as to fit into a mortise. 
Thus the square tongue cut on the heel of a mast to fit into the 
step is the tenon or tongue. 

Tew.— To beat hemp. (Smyth.) 

Thames Conservancy. — The common appellation for the Con- 
servators of the Thames t "a body of modern creation, representing 
the Imperial Government, the city of London and the commercial 
interest of the river, and exercising the general powers of harbour 
and conservancy board over the lower liver and estuary, as well as 
those of conservancy on the upper river as far as Cricklade." The 
office of the Thames Conservancy is on the Thames Embankment, 
Blackfriars Bridge. 

Thaughts.— (See Thwarts.) , 

Thick. — Thick-and-thin block. — A block 
taking two sizes of rope. {See also Fiddle 

Thick strakes (in shipbuilding). — Strakes 
(lines of planking) along a ship's sides which 
are thicker than the rest. (See Strake.) 

Thick staff (in shipbuilding). — Thick timber. 

Thimble. — A small metal eye or ring, con- 
cave on its outer diameter, so that a rope may 
be brought round it and spliced. A thimble is 
usually inserted into such loops as are liable to 
get quickly worn, as, for instance, where a lan- 
yard passes tlirough them ; or in the reef-eyes of 
sails, through which the reef- 
points are rove. But thimbles 
are not necessarily round : they 
may be roughly triangular or 
"thimble shaped," when thev 
are called thimble-eyes, which 
are also thimble-shaped holes 
in iron plates where sheaves are 
not required. They are often 
used instead of dead-eyes in 
small craft. 

Tholes (otherwise thole- 
pins, or thowels ; Anglo-Saxon 
thol). — Pegs fitted into holes 
in a boat's gunwale, and be- 
tween which oars are placed 
while rowing. They are, practi- 
cally, but a form of rowlock, 
and are to be seen more particu- 
larly in sea boats ; their chief 
advantage being that they may 
be removed when necessary. Tholes. 




(See Rowlocks.) In some waters, more particularly abroad, only 
one thole -pin is employed, to which the oar is either loosely held by 
a grommet of rope, or the fulcrum of the oar is so enlarged that a 
bole may be bored through it, and this hole is dropped over the 
pin. (iSee fig.) 

Thorough, put. — " A tangle in the ropes of a tackle." It is, in 
fact, a thorough mess. 

Thrash.. — A boat is sometimes said to be " thrashing along " 
when she is ploughing through the water either at a high rate of 
speed, or apparently so, either close-hauled or reaching. 

Three. — Three-masted schooner. — A rig which appears to have 
originated in America. Every mast is fore-and-aft rigged, which 
enables the vessel to sail very close to the wind, and to come about 
quickly. When square topsails are added to the foremast the rig is 
called jack-ass, and approaches the barkentine, but is to be dis- 
tinguished from it by the composition of the foremast. {See under 

" Three half-hitches are more than a king's yacht wants." An old 
expression. It signifies that in making fast by half-hitches, two 
are sufficient, and three, therefore, quite unnecessary. It is a hint 
to the landsman not to waste his time or his rope in making more 
knots than are required. 

" Three sheets in the wind." — A very common expression for a man 
slightly intoxicated. It would appear that there must be definable 
degrees of drunkenness, and that, under the rule, the condition of 
three sheets in the wind is one degree less advanced than that of 
half seas over (which see). 

Three-square. — Another name for jib-shaped, i.e., triangular. 

Throat. — 1. That part of a boom or gaff 
immediately behind the jaws. It is some- 
times called the neck. To it, on a gaff, is 
attached the throat halyard, which elevates 
the throat while the peak halyards are lifting 
the peak (see below) ; and under the throat 
is attached another rope called the tricing 
line, which serves to pull or trice up the luff 
of the sail, so as quickly to reduce the area <L 
it presents to the wind. 2. The forward vy/ 
part of the head of a gaff sail is also called 
the throat. (See SAIL.) 3. The word throat 
is also used in shipbuilding to describe such 
parts of any timbers as are narrowed down 
to a neck. 

Throat halyard. — The halyard which ele- 
vates the throat of a gaff. In fore-and-aft 
rig it is often called the main halyard, from 
the fact that it is the principal halyard on 
the main mast, just as " mizzen halyard " Throat. 


will mean mizzen throat halyard because it is the principal halyard 
on the mizzen mabt. But when spoken of in the same connection 
with other halyards belonging to the same spar, the distinguishing 
term " throat " would be used, as, for example, the mainsail having 
been hoisted, the order might be given : " Belay the throat halyard 
and set up on the peak." Spoken of in conjunction, the halyards 
lifting the mainsail are called the gaff halyards, because they act 
upon the gaff. The throat halyard in small craft is fastened to a 
ring at the throat of the gaff, and after passing through a block 
at the mast head, comes down on deck and is belayed, usually on 
the starboard (right hand) side of the mast. 

Throt. — On full-rigged ships, that part of the mizzen yard which 
is close to the mast is sometimes called the throt. It is equivalent 
to throat. 

Through fastenings (in shipbuilding). — Bolts or treenails 
driven through both the planks and timbers of a vessel. 

Thrum. — The material for thrumming. Any coarse woollen or 
hempen yarn. 

Thrumming. — To stop a leak by working a portion of thrum well 
greased and tarred, and contained in a piece of heavy sail cloth, 
under the vessel by means of ropes, until it reaches the leak, when 
it is hauled taut and left. The pressure of the water forces the 
tarred thrum into any openings, and thus the leak is gradually 
filled, or at least sufficiently so to stop any serious ingress of water. 
But thrumming is often done with simple yarn, ungreased, and by 
some is held to be far more efficacious thus. 

Thumb cleat. — A small cleat, resembling a man's thumb. 
These are often fitted to spars, masts, etc. {See fig. under Cleat.) 

Thwart. — A 'thwart means across ; and in a boat the seats are 
called the thwarts, because they are placed across, or a'thwart, the 
boat. The thwarts are secured by knees to a wiring clamp (a short 
stringer) which lies on the bent heads (ribs) of the boat. Their 
office is somewhat akin to that of the beams of a ship, for they 
carry such weight as is placed on the upper part of the boat. 

Thwartships. — Across the ship or boat. 

Thwart-marks to a harbour. — " Two objects on the land which, 
brought into line with each other, mark the safe course between 
shoals ; as those on Southsea Common act for the Needles, swash- 
ways, etc." (Smyth.) Some suppose that the pinnacles which so 
often cap the corner buttresses of the square church towers of the 
15th and 16th centuries have a like purpose. But although these 
may, and in some instances undoubtedly do, guide the coaster on 
approaching the shore, it appears improbable that they can have 
been erected for such a purpose expressly, since they are by no 
means peculiar to the sea board. 

Tide (See Lagging of Tides, Making of Tides, Spring 
Tides, Neap Tides). — Tide rip, race, or whorl. — Short ripplings 
which result from eddies or the passage over uneven bottoms ; also 



observed in the ocean where two currents meet, but not appearing 
to affect a ship's course. (Smyth.) 

Tide-rode. — A vessel at anchor in a tide way is said to lie 

Tide way. — The mid-stream of the tide. 

Tide under the lee. — A tide running up against the lee side of a 
vessel when she is sailing across it. {See Lee. ) 

Head tide. — A tide a'head ; that is against the course of a vessel. 

Tide and half tide. — " The turn of the tidal stream off shore is 
seldom coincident with the time of high and low water on shore. 
In open channels, the tidal stream ordinarily overruns the turn of 
the vertical movement of the tide by three hours, forming what is 
usually known as tide and half-tide, the effect of which is that at 
high and low water by the shore the stream is running at its 
greatest velocity." (Lloyd's " Seaman's Almanac," 1897.) 

Tier. — 1. A species of fender, made up of old rope. 2. The hollow 
space in the middle of a coil of rope. 3. In old ships, the batteiy 
of guns on one side of a ship. 

Ties, or stops. — Short ropes which are used to confine a sail to its 
yard or gaff when furled. They are also called gaskets and furling 
lines. (See also under Stop.) 

Tiffin. — One of the meals supplied to the officers on board a 
merchant or mail ship. It is a sort of " high tea." 

Tight. — Spoken of a boat, it means that she is free from leakage. 
In any other sense the word as used at sea becomes " taut " (which 

Tiller. — One of the component parts of the helm. (See Helm. ) It 
is the handle, or beam, at the head of the rudder, and by which that 
member is worked. In small boats it is a mere bar worked by hand ; 
in large ones it is worked by a wheel ; and in long open boats, where 
the steersman sits too far amidships to work it, it changes its form 
into a yoke, or plate, which is 
worked by lines, called yoke- 
lines or rudder-lines. The 
tiller of small craft may be of 
iron or of wood, and is some- 
times decorated with carving 
at the head, that is the end 
furthest from the rudder. It 
fits either over or through the 
rudder stock. If there is any 
impediment, on deck, to its 
sweep round it is bent either 
upwards or downwards; and 
sometimes, where a mizzen mast stands between the rudder and the 
tiller head, the tiller makes a deep bend and return so as to clear 
it ; the form of these bends will be seen in the figure under Rudder. 
The bar and yoke may also be combined in the manner shown in 

Tiller and Yoke. 


the same figure. It is a plan sometimes applied to boats, pointed 
bow and stem, in which a long space exists between the rudder and 
the helmsman's seat ; its object being to do away with the necessity 
of handling rudder lines. It applies naturally to sailing boats (in 
■which rudder lines are very awkward), and can only be carried out 
in those which are decked in fore and aft. The principle is very 
simple ; the rudder retains its yoke, and a second yoke is fitted to 
a, pivot on the deck near the helmsman, this second yoke being 
worked by a short tiller ; but the rudder lines which connect these 
two yokes must in this case be of iron. For further remarks on the 
subject refer to Helm and Rudder. 

Sweep of the tiller. — The circle the head makes in travelling round. 

Tilt. — This word, whether used afloat or ashore, generally means 
a cover of canvas or of some like material. So, the cover of a boat 
is occasionally called the tilt, as also may be the small awning over 
the well of a yacht. 

Timbers. — This is a collective term applied to the various 
members employed in the building of a vessel, such as beams, ribs, 
floors, etc. But when " timbers are spoken of without further 
specification the term often means the ribs only. 

Timber heads. — The heads of the ribs of a vessel. 

Timber hitch. — A useful knot for taking a hasty hold on some 
bollard, or post. (See Knots.) 

Timber space (in shipbuilding). — Distance between timbers. The 
same as Room and Space. 

Time. — 1. Time allowance, in yacht and sailing-boat racing, is 
the foundation for handicapping. A large craft allows time to a 
smaller one, so that they may compete on equal terms. This allow- 
ance is calculated in seconds per mile, according to rules adopted by 
any particular club, or on the new system of linear measurement 
<1896). (-See under Rating.) 

2. Time, in rowing, is the space of time occupied between each 
stroke of the rowers. When all swing together they are said to 
keep good time; when they dip unevenly, that is, one before or 
after another, the time is called bad, and the crew may then be 
justly described as "wild." In this latter case, the coxswain or 
the coach would call out " Time!" — meaning this as an expostula- 
tion or as an order to keep time. 

Tingle. — A patch put on over the outside (or inside) of a broken 
plank in a boat ; it must be distinguished from a patch let in, which is 
not a tingl e . Tingles may be of wood 
or lead ; the first is more general, 
the latter more serviceable, except 
where the boat has much beaching, 
for it cannot split. Tingles are usu- 
ally nailed on over strips of thick _ 1 
paper or canvas previously saturated 
in tar, varnish or linseed oil. Tingles. 


Whelk tingle, otherwise called dog whelk. — A mollusc which hores 
through the shells of others. (See Whelk. ) 

Toggle and becket. — A toggle is a short piece of wood 
intended to pass through an eye at the end of a rope : it is- 
grooved about the middle so that the rope may Becket 

not slip off it. A becket is a small eye at the °$S e J "" f~p%? J 
end of a rope, sometimes intended to hold a 
toggle, sometimes large enough for the toggle 
to pass loosely through. When a rope or lan- 
yard is furnished with a toggle at one end and 
a becket (or eye) at the other, the combination 
is called a toggle and becket, and becomes a 
very useful little agent, employed on number- 
less occasions, as, for instance, for hastily confining sails when furled, 
for holding a sail cover over a boom, for temporarily holding a 
tiller, etc. 

A sny is a small toggle attached to a flag whereby it may be 
bent to its halyard without tying. (Sec SNY.) 

Tom. — Tom Collins, whether or no. — An old expression of positive 
assertion. It may mean, literally, " Such is the case, whatever may 
be said to the contrary." 

lorn Pepper. — " A term for a liar ; he having, according to 
nautical tradition, been kicked out of the nether regions for 
indulging in falsehood." (Smyth.) 

Ton. — Tonnage — The measure of a ship's internal dimensions, 
as the basis of a standard for dues, etc. The term appears to have 
originated from the tun cask of wine and to have meant the number 
of such tuns which the ship could carry. At a later period the ton, 
as a term of space, was 40 cubic feet. The measurement of yachts 
was given in tonnage until recent years, when the word rate took 
its place for all racing purposes. For a history of tonnage see 
Lloyd's "Seaman's Almanac." 

Tongue. — 1. In shipbuilding, the long tapered end of one 
piece of timber made to fall into a scarf at the end of another 
piece to gain length. 2. A low or sunken sand, as that in the 
Thames estuary (off Margate) marked by the lightship known as 
The Tongue. 

Top. — I. That portion of a mast from the hounds upwards. 2- 
(In old ships. ) A sort of platform placed on the head of the lower 

To top. — To raise one end of a yard or boom by means of a 
rope called the topping lift ; in old ships the free traverse of the 
square sails about the mast was often interrupted by stays, thus 
necessitating that the yards or booms should be topped as the ship 
came about. In the modern rigs, however, this is vo a great extent 
obviated ; and the topping lift belongs now, more particularly, to 
a gaff-sail, sucb as the main sail of a cutter, a yawl and other 
fore-and-aft rigged craft. In sails of this description a topping-lift 


is a halyard used to elevate the after end of a boom, which is 
<alled topping the boom, and is necessary under various circum- 
stances, as in reefing, tricing up the sail, etc. {See diagram under 
Rigging. ) The standing end of a topping-lift is either permanently 
secured or simply eye-spliced and passed over the boom end ; it then 
runs through a block, usually placed high up on the head of the 
mast, and comes down on deck to be belayed on the starboard side 
•of the mast. In large vessels the topping-bit is double, one rope 
being on each side of the sail. In some sailing boats, more par- 
ticularly in those carrying lug-sails or those una-rigged, the topping- 
lift is occasionally called the sling. 

Top gallant (pronounced t'gam). — This term has a considerable 
use at sea. It is derived from top " garland ; " a garland being 
■originally a rope used for swaying a topmast. (See Garland.) 
In a ship we have the top gallant masts, yards, sails, stays, etc. 

Top gallant forecastle (pronounced " t'gam fo'ks'l"). — A small 
extra forecastle in certain ships, above the deck. 

Top-hamper. — Weight aloft, that is, above the decks of a vessel. 
Thus her topmasts and yards constitute her top-hamper ; and if these 
are too much for her, she is said to have too much top-hamper. In 
•a ship the top-hamper is sometimes a rope for swaying a top or 
top-gallant mast — the ancient " topmast garland." 

Topmast. — This is described under the heading MAST. 

Topmast stays. — Topmasts, like lower masts, are supported by 
various stays, those keeping them forward being called fore-stays, 
and those 'keeping them back, the back-stays. In a ship each top- 
mast has these stays, which take their names from that of the mast, 
as main stay, top gallant stay, fore stay, etc. In single masted 
craft the topmast fore-stay is a stay or rope running from the head 
•of the topmast to the bowsprit end. Upon it is set the jib-topsail. 
Topmast back-stays, also called preventers, are only seen in yachts 
of tolerable size, being found unnecessary in small boats (except 
under extraordinary circumstances), and always a little difficult to 
work, since they have to be shifted as the boom comes over. (See 
•diagram under Rigging.) 

Topsails. — In square rigged vessels the topsails are those set 
above the courses, taking their names from the masts, yards, or 
stays upon which they stand. Thus, in a ship, there will be 
the main-topsail, main-top-gallant, main-royal, main-top-studding- 
sail, main-top-gallant-studding-sail, main-top-stay-sail, main-top 
gallant-stay-sail, etc. In modern days, the huge square topsail 
of the old ship having been found to hold too much wind to 
work rapidly, has been divided into two parts, called respectively 
the upper topsail and the lower or middle topsail ; and this 
•division constitutes what are known as double topsails (under 
which heading they are more fully described). In cutters, sloops, 
and other fore-and-aft rigged craft, the main topsail is that one 
set above the mainsail ; here it is but an extension of the mainsail, 
and the two should work together as one. The jib-topsail, or, as it 




may be called, the topmast fore-stay-sail, is a jib sail standing 

on the topmast fore-stay. 

A topsail extended on a gaff is called a gaff topsail ; and the 

gaff topsails on a cutter yacht 

may be as follow (see fig.) : — 

Jib-headed topsail. — That most 

usually carried, because by far 

the most handy for general 

cruising, and at all times the 

most easily manipulated. It 

takes its name from its shape, 

being a jib-shaped or triangular 

sail ; its head draws up to the 

topmast head, and it may be 

either laced to the topmast or 

held to it by a rope, called the 

jack-stay, which is attached to 

a cringle in the middle of the 

luff. Big topsail. — A general 

name, given for want of a better, 

to the largest topsail a yacht 

carries under normal circum- 
stances. Its head is extended 

on a yard, so that it becomes, 

in fact, a sort of standing lug, 

elevated above the mainsail, with 

its clew drawn up to the peak 

and its tack-line running down 

to the base of the lower mast. 

It is only used in bight winds. 

. — Spinnaker topsail, often called 
the big topsail, has no connec- 
tion with the spinnaker, but 
being a racing sail only suited 
to running or sailing large, is , 

often used at the same time as t ' acfc 
that. The peculiarity of this 
sail hies in the fact that its after ' 
leech is extended beyond the 
peak of the mainsail on a small 
boom called the jack-yard. It 
is difficult to determine whether 
this sail possesses any real ad- 
vantage over the ordinary big 
topsail, but with certain boats it 
may, without doubt, be effec- 
tive. Jack topsail. — A topsail laced to a spar called the jack- 
yard, wliich yard is drawn vip close to the mast and extends 
perpendicularly up beyond it. The foot of the sail is also 

Gaff Topsails. 


sometimes extended on another small yard (also called the jack- 
yard), like the spinnaker topsail previously described. 

Theoretically a topsail should be set to windward so that the 
tack may always lie down on the mainsail ; but as this, of course, 
is impossible, it is usually hoisted on the starboard side. 

A boat is said to hold her topmast when she can beat to windward 
under a topsail. This, as above noted, she cannot do with her big 
topsail if the wind be at all fresh, for that sail is liable to belly 
away from the mast and loose the wind, and is then said not to 
hold the mast. She holds her topmast best under a jib topsail. 
With barges and other heavily laden craft the topsail is often carried 
when the mainsail is double reefed or brailed up. 

Topsail sheets. — The ropes which work topsails. In ships the 
ropes attached to both clews of all topsails (i.e., all square sails 
above the courses) are called sheets, but not so with the courses. 
(See Sheets.) In fore-and-aft rigged boats the topsail sheet 
is that rope which brings the clew of a topsail to the gaff. It is 
bent to the sail, passes through a sheave at the gaff end, thence 
to a block which is often suspended by a short rope or tail from the 
throat, and then downward to the deck, to be belayed m the most 
convenient position, for the belaying of this sheet varies in different 
boats. (See fig., p. 290.) This method of bringing the topsail sheet 
down may need explanation : the topsail, it must be remembered, 
usually (though not always) is set on the starboard side, and while the 
boat is on the starboard tack there is no reason why the sheet should 
not be brought straight down from the gaff end. But when the 
boat comes about on the other tack the mainsail will press very 
heavily upon the topsail sheet, and most probably overstrain, if 
indeed it does not break it. It is necessary, then, that this sheet 
should be relieved, and the best manner of doing this is to take it 
along the head of the mainsail as nearly parallel with the gaff as 

Topsail breeze. — A fine breeze in which a vessel may sail under 

Topsail schooner. — The common name for a trading schooner 
carrying square fore-topsails. (See SCHOONER.) 

Top sawyer. — A slang term. The chief man in any undertaking ; 
he with the authority. A person who does anything in a first class 
manner may also be called a top sawyer, as also may a boat which 
has more than usually excellent qualities. 

Top timbers (in shipbuilding). — The topmost futtocks of a vessel, 
sometimes called the heads or head timbers. — Above the top 
timbers are placed the short timbers. (See diagrams under Frame.) 

Torse. — A coarse kind of hemp usually called cordilla. 

Torsion (of cables). — " All ropes formed by twisting have a 
contraiy turn, and a disposition to kink from torsion." (Smyth). 

Tosh. — A slang term for a theft, more especially from dockyards. 

Toss oars. — The expression is variously used, but especially 
signifies to throw the oars up to the perpendicular as they do in the 



Royal Navy in compliment to an officer, preparatory to shipping or 
unshipping. But the order to " Toss oars !" may also mean merely 
to ship or unship. 

Total loss. — A term in marine insurance, signifying that the 
underwriters (who insured her against loss) have to pay the whole 
amount for which a .lost vessel has heen insured, without deduction 
for salvage. 

Touch, (in navigation). — To touch at any port is to stop there 
for only a short period. (In sailing). — Sails are said to touch (mean- 
ing touch the wind), when they just begin to shiver as the vessel is 
put up to the wind. 

Luff and touch her. — An order to the helmsman to sail the vessel 
so close as almost to touch the wind. 

Touch and take. — " An old proverb which Nelson applied to a 
ship about to encounter her opponent. " 

To have a touch of the tar-brush. — A person in whose appearance 
there is a slight approach to the negro is sometimes thus described. 

Tow. — 1. To tow is to draw a vessel along in the water. It 
may be done either from banks, by horses or men, or by another 
vessel in the water, as a tug takes a ship in tow. 

A tow-line or tow-rope is the rope by which the vessel is towed ; 
those employed by tugs are very large hempen ropes, seldom less 
than 9 inches in diameter, and veiy costly. On the Upper Thames 
a thin tow-line forms part of the inventory of every new skiff ; and 
towing is a veiy favourite method of getting up against stream. 

A tow-mast is a small mast used in canal barges and in skiffs to 
lead the tow-line clear of all impediments along the banks. The line 
is usually attached to the mast in such a manner as to form a sort 
of backstay on the side farthest from the bank. 

A tow among tug and barge men signifies the vessel or vessels 
in tow. 

To steer while being towed is not altogether easy. In an open 
boat a tow-line should never be made fast to the stem, the strain on 
the boat being too great ; it should be passed round one of the forward 
thwarts. " As the vessel towed affects the motions of the other, 
much attention is required on her part to second the intentions of 
the towing vessel." (Brande and Cox.) This, of course, only 
applies to large vessels. 

2. Tow-hauling. — -A method, in the oyster fisheries of the Essex 
rivers, and occasionally elsewhere, of dredging for oysters in small 
creeks and under banks, where a sailing vessel cannot work. The 
work is done in large open boats called skiffs (oyster skiffs). Two 
anchors being placed at a convenient distance apart (say 60 or 80 
fathoms), the dredges are put overboard and the skiff is " hauled " 
from one anchor to the other, and then back, thus " towing " the 
dredges along, and hence called " haul-towing " or " tow-hauling. " 
If there be a fair breeze, a lug-sail is set, which assists the dredger- 
men at their work. 


3. Tow. — By the material tow is usually understood the hard or 
coarser part of hemp or flax. 

Track. — A vessel's wake upon the water. 

Trade winds. — Those winds which, in and near the torrid zone, 
continue to hlow for a certain part of the year from one quarter. 
A very easy and lucid explanation of these winds is given in Captain 
Basil Hall's "Lieutenant and Commander," which also contains 
much other interesting matter. 

Trail boards. — In old ships the carved boards on either side of 
the stem, and helping to support the figure head. 

Transom (trans, across). — In a ship the transoms are beams 
bolted across the sternpost to receive the after ends of the decks. 
In smaller craft the transom is either a solid piece, or a frame work, 
taking the form of the end of a boat, and secured to the after side 
of the sternpost. In either oase it gives the form to the stern of the 
vessel, though this may be concealed by the addition of a counter. 
(See Frame.) In large ships and especially in old ones there are a 
number of transoms. The deck transoms are the highest, being 
those upon which the deck planks are rebated (recessed). The helm 
transoms are at the head of the sternpost. The wing transoms 
come next below and form the lowest part of the stern. Transom 
knees are knees which connect the transoms with the sides of a 

Traveller. — 1. A ring which travels along a spar; it is fre- 
quently connected with a hook or an eye to which a sail may be 
attached. The jib-stay of a cutter carries the jib-sail along the 
bowsprit by means of a traveller. A lug sail is also sometimes 
confined to its mast by the same means, though the plan is not alto- 
gether a good one, unless the traveller be made of two parts, when 
it is less likely to jam. A traveller is also sometimes used instead 
of a clamp on a boom, for reefing. Travellers are the better for 
being served (or bound) with leather, which must be kept greased. 

2. Travellers (in the stays of a ship). — The running backstays are 
sometimes called by this name. (See under Backstays.) 

3. Travelling iron. — A name sometimes given on ship board to 
that which in a yacht or sailing boat is usually called the horse 
(which see). 

Traverse. — A yard traverses about its mast when it turns about. 
To put the yards a-travers (Ft. a traverse) is to dispose them in a 
fore-and-aft direction. 

Traverse sailing (in navigation). — Sailing in different courses in 

Traverse table. — A species of table, or tabulated form, employed in 
reducing the courses made in traverse sailing. 

Traverse wind. — A wind setting directly against the course a 
vessel desires to take, as into a harbour, and thereby preventing 
vessels from getting out. 



Trawl. — A large net attached to a heavy beam called the trawl- 
beam, used in bottom fishing. A vessel employed in the trawl fisheries 
is called a trawler, and if in the North Sea, a North Sea trawler. 

Otter trawl. — Another form of trawling net used in estuaries and 
for inshore fishing. 

Tread. — The length of a vessel's keel is her tread. 

Tree. — The word " tree " is often employed at sea to mean " of 
timber" or "wooden." Thus we hear of the treenails, chess- 
trees, cross-trees, rough-trees, trestle-trees, waist-trees, etc. (all 
described under their respective headings), all of which are of wood. 

Treenails (i.e., -tree or timber nails, pronounced, and often 
written, " trennels "). — Wooden bolts of various forms, by which the 
strakes of a ship's bottom are secured to her lower timbers. 

Treenail wedges. — Treenails of wedge-like shape. 

Trench. — To trench the ballast is so to place it that a passage 
or trench is left, in case it may be necessary to get at any part of 
the vessel. 

Trend. — The trend of an anchor is that part of the shank where 
its thickness increases — i.e., about one-third of its length from the 
crown. But modern anchors have considerably changed in form, in 
many the thickness of the shank being the same throughout, while 
the stock is often absent. {See Anchor. ) 

The trend of a coast line is its direction, as south-west, north- 
east, etc. 

Trestle trees. — A trestle tree is a flat piece of wood at a mast- 
head supporting the cross-trees and topmast. In large vessels there 
are two ; one each side of the mast. In small craft, one piece, 
having a hole in it to fit over the mast and another to form a lower 
cap for the topmast, takes the place of the two. Trestle trees are 
supported on the shoulders, or bibbs, as they are sometimes called. 
In old ships fitted with tops they carry the tops ; and in all cases 
they support the entire weight of the 
topmast. (See under Mast. ) 

Triatic stay, or jumper stay.— 
This is a stay (or rope) running from 
the main to the fore-mast head in a 
schooner. It acts as a forestay to the 
main-mast. In ships there are such 
stays connecting the masts fore and 
aft, or in their place others running 
from each mast head down to a collar 
at the base of the mast before it, such 
sails as are prevented from coming round 
by these being topped up and hauled Triatic Stay. 

over each time the vessel goes about. 

It will be seen that the triatic stay precludes the possibility of setting 
a gaff top-sail on the fore-mast. In this case square top-sails are 
set (as in the fig.). When it is desired to set a gaff topsail a 



Triced Up. 

mainstay — running from the main-mast head to the fore-mast foot — 
is employed instead of the triatic stay, the large boom foresail being 
" topped" over it each time the vessel comes about. 

Trice. — To trice up is to draw up, 
shorten or tighten some sail or rope, and 
the tricing line is the rope by which this 
is accomplished. Thus the main trice (also 
called the tack trice, or tack tricing line), 
in a fore-and-aft rigged boat, trices or 
draws up the tack of the mainsail towards 
the masthead (as in the fig.), the object of 
this action being to let the wind out of 
the sail without lowering" it. This line 
is attached to the tack of the sail and, 
passing through a block beneath the 
throat of the gaff, comes down again on 
deck. The bobstay trice is a rope bent to the bobstay, and serving 
to pull it up beneath the bowsprit so that it may not chafe the 
cable while the boat lies at anchor. 

Trick (at sea). — The time allotted to a man to be at the wheel 
or elsewhere. The word has somewhat the same meaning as spell, 
and may otherwise be defined as " a spell on duty." 

Tricolor. — The national banner of France, adopted from the 
ancient standards, during the First Revolution. These colours are 
blue, white and red, the blue being first, or next the flagstaff. 
The same colours, carried as a British flag, are disposed the reverse 
way, that is the red next the staff — running, therefore, red, white 
and blue. These are also the colours of Holland, conferred by 
Henry IV. of France, but disposed lengthwise. Tri coloured flags 
have also been adopted by various other nations. 

Trim. — The trim is the position of a vessel in the water with 
respect to the horizontal. If she is level she is in trim; if on uneven 
keel or if lying over on one side she is out of trim. (5ee fig. ) She is 
also popularly called ' ' trim " when she presents a smart appearance, 
as in the old song, "Farewell, my 
trim-built wherry," though this 
line might also mean that the 
boat was so built as to float level 
in the water, or "trim." 

To trim a boat is, therefore, to Boats Out of Trim. 

balance her in the water so that 

she may lie both level and on an even keel. (See Keel.) In a sailing 
boat or a yacht this will mean to properly dispose the ballast. In 
an open or row-boat it will be to place the people so that she is in 
trim ; for passengers are often in the habit of moving about or of 
choosing such situations as put the boat quite out of trim. 

To trim sails is so to dispose the sails of a boat that she will move 
at her best ; and as sails are, of course, worked by sheets, to haul in 
a sheet to the required extent is called trimming in the sheet. 


To trim clown a boat is to take down and stow away the sails, etc./ 
after a cruise, and to leave all things in proper order for future use. 

Trinity House. — One of the bodies having certain jurisdiction 
on the Thames and along the coast. This institution was incor- 
porated by Henry VIII. in 1515, and its powers were confirmed 
by James II. and have further been defined in the present reign 
(Victoria). Its commission is for the regulation of lighthouses, 
lightships, buoys, beacons, etc., besides the licensing of pilots, the- 
disposal of wrecks, and many other things directly connected with 
mercantile navigation. Its members are called " brethren." 

Trinity high-water mark. — The height of high water at any time 
or place, as marked by the Trinity House. 

Trip. — 1. A passage or cruise. 2. In sailing, a single board. 
(See Tack. ) 

The anchor a" trip. — The anchor just as it leaves the ground. 
(See Anchor.) 

Tripping (in yacht-sailing). — The striking of the boom of a vessel 
on the crest of a wave, as she is running before the wind. Should 
this occur with any violence, or in a heavy sea, the result may be 
that the sail will suddenly gybe, a possibility by all means to be 
avoided and often successfully guarded against by slightly topping 
the boom. 

Tripving a yard. — Bringing it to the necessary angle. 

Tripping a topmast. — Lifting it slightly so as to withdraw the- 
fid. This is done by hauling on the — 

Tripping line, a rope for lifting the heel of a top or top-gallant 

Tropics. — " The parallels of declination between which the sun's 
annual path in the heavens is contained, the distance of each from 
the equator being equal to the sun's greatest declination. The 
northern tropic is called the tropic of Cancer, and the southern one 
that of Capricorn, from their touching the ecliptic in the first points 
of those stages." (Brande and Cox.) 

Trough. — 1. (Of the sea.) The hollow between the waves. 
2. A small boat broad at the ends. (Smyth.) 

Trow. — A species of barge which, as with so many other forms 
of vessels, varies with locality. Thus, on the Severn River it is 
a clincher-built hull with a flat floor, while on the Tyne 
it is a sort of double boat with a space between, at one 
time used in the salmon fishery. 

Truck (of a mast). — 1. The wooden cap at the head 
of a pole or topmast. It is flat and circular, and gener- 
ally has one or more small holes in it for flag or signal 

2. The small wooden beads often threaded on the jaw 
rope of a gaff are sometimes called trucks or parrel-trucks, 
though more properly, perhaps, they are parrel-rollers. 
(See Parrel.) 



Truckle. — 1. To lower, or partly lower; spoken of a sail. The 
term is often used in general conversation, as to "truckle under." 
2. A Welsh coracle. 

Trundle-head. — The circular head of a capstan into which the 
hare are fixed for turning ; to trundle being to make ambulatory- 
gyrations, as in the saying " to trundle around. " 

Truss. — To trass or truss up (in sailing craft) is to brail 
up a sail quickly, which is done with a truss rope or line. (See 

Truss and parrel. —An arrangement, usually consisting of an iron 
ring, but sometimes a peculiar loop in a rope, by which a yard is held 
to its mast. Such an arrangement is generally required with lug 
sails. (See under Lug.) 

Truss hoops. — Clasps which may run on masts or any other spar. 
A divided ring may be regarded as a truss and serves very well with 
lug sails. 

Try. — To try. — To lie to in a heavy gale. This is always a 
somewhat difficult operation ; but by a judicious balance of canvas, a 
vessel's bow may be kept to the sea without causing her to make great 
way ; and this is called trying. Thus if, in a yacht or sailing boat, 
close-reefed, the helm be put down, the foresail belayed on the weather 
side, so that it lies aback, the jib to leeward, and the main sheet be 
close-hauled, the boat, if in proper trim, ought to lie to without 
difficulty. With respect to the old ships there were great discussions 
on the art of trying, which, with all the square sail they carried, was 
a very nice performance. It was said by Smyth that close-hauled and 
under all sail a vessel gained headway within six points, while in 
trying she might come up to five and fall off to seven. Falconer 
speaks of lashing the helm a'lee. Smyth, on the other hand, speaks 
strongly against it. " If a vessel be in proper trim," he says, " she 
will naturally keep to the wind ; but custom and deficiency of sea- 
manlike ability have induced the lazy habit of lashing the helm 
a'lee. H 

Try back. — To pay back, or let go back 
Spoken of a rope or cable which is being 
hauled upon, it means " let it go out again. " 

Trysail (a name derived, probably, from sails 
set when "trying "). — The trysails, as part of 
a vessel's inventory, are small sails used in very 
bad weather, when no others can be carried, 
or, occasionally, for rough work. But in fore- 
and-aft rig, when the trysail is spoken of, it 
means a gaff sail (such as the mainsail of a 
cutter) without a boom. Such a sail is made 
of stouter canvas than the fair weather sails, 
and, the boom being absent, is very much 
better suited to rough winter work ; for a 
boom-sail holds the wind when a trysail will Trysail. 


readily shake it out, while the latter possesses the further advan- 
tage that it can be quickly brailed or triced up. 

Trysail mast (in old ships). — " A spar abaft the fore and main masts 
for hoisting the trysail." (Smyth.) They are now seldom seen. 

Tuck. — That part of a vessel's stern immediately under her 
counter and terminating under the tuck-rail — which is a line of 
horizontal timbers forming part of the counter of a ship. 

Tumble home. — [See Fall Home.) 

Tumbler. — A fitting between the jaws of a gaff to prevent its 
chafing the mast. Sometimes called a clapper. 

Turk's head. — An ornamental knot used on side ropes or 
wherever else convenient. lbs name is derived from a supposed 
resemblance to a turban. 

Turn. — To take a turn. — To pass a rope once or twice over a 
spar, etc. 

Turn in. — 1. Of a rope or rigging, to turn the end over and 
into the rope itself, thus making an eye, generally enclosing 
something. So to turn in dead-eyes is to secure the ends of the 
shroud round the dead-eye. This is the method in which dead- 
eyes are usually fitted. 

2. To turn in, among seafaring men, means to go below ; or if 
already below, to get into one's bunk. 

Turn-turtle. — An expression sometimes used of a boat when she 
suddenly turns in the wrong direction, as up to the wind, etc. ; but 
some use the same term when she capsizes. 

Turn up. — To summon, as "Turn up the hands," an order on 
shipboard to summon all hands on deck. 

Turret ship. — A ship of war in which the heavy guns are 
mounted on rotating and covered decks called turrets. 

Twiddling line. — This term is now seldom heard because the 
thing itself is no longer in use. In old ships the twiddling-line was 
a small line employed to steady the steering wheel ; and it was often 
of ornamental appearance. 

Twig. — To twig, to pull upon a bowline (Smyth). 

Twine. — Strong thread used in sail-making. 

Two blocks.— {See Chock a'block.) 

Tye. — A rope or chain. In ships it is often part of a purchase, 
such as that used in hoisting topsail or top gallant yards. 

Tye block and fly block. — Blocks connected with the lifting of 
heavy yards in square rigged ships. 

Ties. — Ropes or bands of sail-cloth employed in tying up sails 
when they are furled. 

Typhoon. — A violent hurricane in the Eastern seas. 



• Ullage. — That part which a cask lacks of being full. 

Un. — Unbend. — To unlash or take off, i.e., the direct opposite to 
bend, which is to put up or tie up. So a sail is unbent when taken 
off its yard or boom, etc. 

Unbitt. — To loosen the belay of a rope from the bitts. (See 

Unclaimed. — Spoken of a vessel, it is the same as "derelict;" 
a vessel found without any living person or domestic animal on 
board, and if left unclaimed for a certain period, becomes the 
property of the finder, or if claimed he has a lien on it to the full 
extent of the salvage. But if any domestic animal is on board she 
is not derelict. 

Unhandy (of a boat). — Not handy, slow in stays, etc. 

Unreeve. — To draw ropes out from sheaves or blocks. 

Unrig. — To take the rigging off a vessel, as for laying up, etc. 

Unship. — To remove anything from its proper place. Thus the 
rowlocks may be looked upon as the proper place for oars ; and, 
therefore, to unship oars is to take them out of the rowlocks. 

Una rig. — A rig at one time very common in Norfolk, from 
whence it nas been to a certain extent taken up on the Upper 
Thames and other smooth water rivers. It consists of one sail only 
(whence the name), with gaff and boom, hoisted by a single halyard, 
the mast being stepped very far forward. The boat carrying the 
una rig is usually very shallow and beamy, the breadth being 
carried aft ; and she is fitted with a centreboard. Her qualities 
come out when working to windward, for which she is peculiarly 
adapted ; she is not suited, however, to broken water. " Una boats 
should be kept well down by the stern, as if they are down by the 
head they gripe or fly to windward, and no amount of weather 
helm will keep them away." (Davies.) This rule, indeed, applies 
more or less to every craft. Norfolk wherries are the origin of una 
rig, and on their own waters are unsurpassable. {See Wherry.) 

Under. — Under bare poles. — A ship is described thus when she 
has no sails set : and in this condition she sometimes runs before the 
wind, which is called scudding under bare poles. (See SCUD.) 

Under canvas. — Having sails set ; in contradistinction to being 
under bare poles. 

Under-current. — A current under the surface of the water, and 

ten in a direction contraiy to that of the surface. 

Under-manned. — Lacking the number of hands (men) necessary 
to work a vessel properly. 

Under-masted. — When the masts of a vessel are too short. 

Under-run. — To under-run a tackle is to separate its parts. To 
under-run a hawser or rope is to drop it underneath any object so as 
to clear it. 



Underset. — " Wherever the wind impels the surface water directly 
upon the shore of a hay the water below restores equilibrium by 
taking a direction contrary to the wind. The resaca, or underset, 
is particularly dangerous on those beaches where heavy surf 
prevails." (Smyth.) 

Under-shore. — To raise up by shores placed underneath. 

Under the lee. — 1. Under the shelter of any object. 

2. The tide setting under the lee of a vessel. (See Lee.) 

Under the wind. — To be sheltered by any object so as not to 
feel the force of the wind. The same as under the lee of anything. 
(See Lee.) 

Under turns. — (See OVER TURNS.) 

Under way. — To have way, i.e., motion; or, in other words, to be 
making progress. This term must be distinguished from the next, 
which is pronounced in exactly the same manner ; the mistake being 
often made. 

Under weigh. — To be in the act of weighing anchor. Thus a 
vessel may be under weigh without having way on her, or, in other 
words, "under weigh but not under way." 

Under-writers. — " Parties who take upon themselves the risk 
of insurance, and so called from subscribing their names at the 
foot of the policy. They are legally presumed to be acquainted 
with every custom of the trade whereon they enter a policy." 

Uneven Keel.— (See Keel.) 

UNION, Union Jack.— 
The Union is the national flag 
of Great Britain. When hoisted 
on a Jack-staff it may be called 
the Union Jack ; otherwise the 
latter name is incorrect. It is 
a composition of the flags of 
England, Scotland, and Ireland, 
or, in other words, of the cross 
of St. George (a red cross on a 
white field), the saltier of St. 
Andrew (a white saltier on a 
blue field), and the saltier of 
St. Patrick (a red saltier on a 
white field). From the date of 
the union of England and Scot- 
land it consisted of the flags of 
these two countries only ; when 
the union with Ireland took 
place, the Irish flag was also in- 
troduced. The manner in which 
this composition is obtained is 
purely heraldic, and may be 
to some extent understood by Union Jack. 


reference to the figures. Those who would know more of the 
subject may be referred to Mr. Macgeorge's short "History of 
Flags;" or to the magazine, Good Words, for July, 1897. 

Up. — This word is often used at sea as an order meaning to raise 
up, as " up anchor," " up topsail," etc., just as the word down " 
often implies " lower. " To up helm is to put the helm up, that is 
up to the wind, or, in other words, against the wind. (See HELM.) 

Up (of the tide). — The tide rising. In a river this is very easily 
remembered, for as rivers must have their source on high ground 
their waters must ran downwards to the sea. The same applies 
with regard to the stream of a river where there is no tide. The 
stream is the water running down from the hills, and, therefore, to go 
up must be to go against the stream, and vice versd. 

Up river. — A name given to that portion of a river which is above 
the first lock : that is where there is no longer a tide. So we often 
speak of up-river boats, etc., meaning boats suitable to the non-tidal 
parts of a river. The expression, however, may often mean any part 
of a river up away from the sea, or where the water becomes fresh : 
and in this sense it is generally used by down-river men. 

Upper. — Upper and lower caps. — The rings at the head of a mast 
through which a topmast passes. The lower cap is often incorpor- 
ated with the trestle tree, which supports the weight of the topmast, 
by its fid. This combination is occasionally called the cap and yoke. 
(See Cap and Yoke.) 

Upper works (old term). — The same as freeboard when a vessel 
is loaded. 


Vanes, or vanes. — Ropes extending from the peak of a gaff, 
sprit, or lateen yard, to the sides of a vessel ; their office being to 
steady either of these when hoisted with- 
out a sail, as is often the case in square 
rigged vessels and steam boats. In the 
Thames and sea-going barges they always 
exist, and serve the further purpose of 
main sheets when the vessel is hay laden 
or freighted with any cargo which neces- 
sitates the sail being reefed up so high 
that the sheet cannot be used. In lateen 
rig they also assist in working the sails. 

Vail (old term). — To lower, as in dip-{!£!J!!4^b-?\^.3fe>_ 
ping a flag. 

Veer. — To veer (in sailing). — To turn 
away from the wind. But the word is 
almost obsolete, having been replaced 
by the more familiar term wear (which 

To veer out (of a rope). — To let out a hawser or any other rope by 
which a vessel is fast, or by which anything is fast to her. Thus, if 


a dinghy in tow be too close to a yacht's stem, her guest rope may 
be "veered out." Or, again, if a vessel ride uneasily for want of 
cable, the cable may be " veered out." So also if the cable be 
running out when it should be fast, it is said to be " veering." 

Veer and haul. — Hauling on a rope and slackening up again 

Veering and backing of the wind. — The veering of the wind is its 
change in direction with the sun., i.e. from E. through S. to W., etc. 
Its backing is its change in the other direction. {See WINDS.) 

Voyal. — " A rope used on shipboard to bring the pressure of the 
capstan to bear on the cable without the necessity of winding the 
latter round the barrel" (Brande and Cox). 


Waft.— A small pennant. (See Wheft.) 

Wager boat. — A boat in which races are rowed. The name 
would appear to be derived from the fact that in professional racing 
wagers are laid by the competitors or their backers on the' result of 
a meeting. The type of wager boat now in use is the improved 
" whiff," called the best boat. (See Best Boat and Whiff.) 

Waggon. — A place on board a ship where superannuated goods 
are stored. The term applies principally to old war-ships. 

Waist. — Actually that part of a vessel between the beam and 
the quarter. The term, however, more particularly refers to those 
vessels which have quarter decks. In these it is that part of the 
main deck immediately forward of the quarter deck ; and not having 
any upper deck, it has the appearance of being a low deck or well. 
Thus a flush-decked ship can hardly be said to have a waist. In 
old ships with big poops the waist was just forward of the poop ; 
to-day it is more frequently seen on steam-vessels than in sailing 

Waist anchor. — An additional anchor in a ship, stowed somewhat 
further aft than the main anchor, though not in the waist. 

Waist cloth (old Naval term). — A painted covering for a 

Waist rail. — In ships, a sort of channel rail or moulding on a 
ship's sides. 

Waist-tree. — Another name for a rough-tree, in the vicinity of the 
waist of a ship. 

Waister. — A name for a person who is no good. As an old 
Naval term it implies those green-hands or superannuated ones who, 
not being fit to send aloft, were relegated to the waist of the ship, 
where they might pick junk or swab the decks. 

Wake. — The track a vessel leaves behind her on the surface of 
the water. One vessel may therefore sail in another's wake. 

Wale. — 1. In shipbuilding, the wale, or outer wale, of a boat is 
the strake running beneath and supporting the outer edge of the 


gunwale. (See fig.) It is some- 
times called the band, or the 
rubbing piece, and is occasion- 
ally incorporated with . the 
uppermost strake of the boat. 
The inwale is a corresponding 
strip running inside the boat. «,... 

(&e Gunwale.) wale " 

2. Wales or walings are strengthening planks or battens laid 
down upon the ribs inside a boat to protect the skin. Those in the 
lowest part of the boat are called foot walings. (See diagrams under 

Walk away. — One boat is said to walk away from another 
when she easily passes the other and leaves her a long way 

Walker (Mathew Walker).— The name of a stopper knot. (See 

Wall. — Wall knot (" Wale-knot "). — The name of a knot raised 
at the end of a rope by untwisting the strands and passing them 
among each other. 

Wall-sided. — A vessel with perpendicular sides, as a barge. 

Ware.— (See Wear.) 

Warp. — 1. A rope by which something is dragged. 

2. A bight hawser (i.e., a strong rope) by which a vessel is moved t 
this is called warping; it was an old method, before the intro- 
duction of tugs, of getting a ship out of harbour. Warps were 
made fast to buoys, and being heaved upon gradually brought the 
vessel along until she could make sail. 

3. Warp (of timbers). — To curl up : the usual consequence of 
unseasoned timber being allowed to become wet and dry alternately. 

4. Warp and weft (in sail-making). — The warp is the lengthwise 
measurement of sailcloth, the width being the weft. 

Wash. — The commotion resulting in a wave, created by a vessel 
moving rapidly through the water. This is her wash, not her swell. 
(See Ground Swell and Swell.) 

A'wash. — Wet. Gunwales under. Hence a boat is said to sail 
" all a'wash " when she heels over under sail so that her decks are 
washed by the water. 

Wash board. — A planking fixed along the bows and sides of a 
boat to prevent the water she cuts from coming on deck. (See 
Weather-boards. ) 

Wash strake. — The same as wash board. 

Wash of an oar. — The blade is occasionally called by this name. 

Wash (a measure). — In the shellfish trades one fourth of an 
oyster bushel, or " tub," the tub itself varying according to locality. 

Watches. — The division of a ship's company into two, called the 
starboard wa tch and the port watch; these names being derived from 


the situation in which the hammocks of the crews are usually hung. 
" The crew are divided into two divisions, as equally as may be, 
called the watches. Of these the chief mate commands the lar- 
board (port), and the second mate the starboard. They divide the 
time between them, being on and off duty, or, as it is called, on 
deck and below, every other four hours." 

Dog watches. — " They are to shift the watches each night, so that 
the same watch need not be on deck the same hours. In order to 
effect this, the watch from 4 to 8 p.m. is divided into two halves, or 
dog watches, one from 4 to 6, and the other from 6 to 8. By this 
means they divide the 24 hours into 7 watches instead of 6, and thus 
-shift the hours every night." (Dana, "Two Years before the 
Mast.") The system of watches has somewhat changed since the 
introduction of steam vessels, upon which the 4 hours on and the 4 
off has given way in some cases to 4 on and 8 off, or to day and night 
watches of 12 hours' duration. (See also under Bells.) 

Water. — Water bailiff. — An official whose duties relate more 
especially to the inspection of vessels under weigh within certain 

Water borne. — Brought by water. 

Water-laid (called by the stow-boat fisherman " stow-boat rope"). 
— The same as cablet, or cable-laid, i.e., left-handed rope. {See 

Water-laid coils. — Those laid left-handed or against the sun. 

Water-line (in Naval architecture). — A section of a hull, taken 
parallel to the line of flotation. There are two cardinal ones ; the 
water-line or light water-line, and the load-water line. The first is 
the line to which a vessel is designed to float ; the second that down 
to which she may with safety be immersed when freighted. And 
between these two there may be, for purposes of calculation in the 
designing of a vessel, any number of water-lines. In the popular 
sense the water-line of a boat is the line of flotation. {See Lines.) 

Water-logged. — A vessel is water- logged when full of water but 
still floating ; she has then lost all her buoyancy and becomes the 
creature of every sweeping sea, under which circumstances she is 
often abandoned. The term relates, of course, only to wooden ships 
which do not sink. Those freighted with timber occasionally 
become water-logged. 

Waterman. — Generally speaking, one whose vocation is carried on 
by the waterside. But a distinction is to be made, for not one half 
of those men whose work is connected with the water are watermen. 
The Thames or Queen's waterman is one who has served his appren- 
ticeship to some member of the Watermen's Company, and who is 
fit to navigate on the Thames. 

Watermen 's and Lightermen's Company. — One of the riparian 
authorities on the Thames. " The members have a monopoly of 
the navigation of craft plying between Teddington and Gravesend ; 
and the court licenses and exercises certain jurisdiction over its 
members. " 


Water-proof clothing. —(See OlL-SKINS. ) 

Water sail, or save all (in ships). — "A small sail sometimes set 
under the foot of a lower studding-sail." (Smyth). (See STUDDING 

Water stang.—A pole or rod across a stream, or a system of such 

Water stead. — The old name for the bed of a river. 
Water stoup. — A name sometimes given to the common winkle. 
Water ways (in a ship). — The deck planks extending round the 
ship's sides, and usually having grooves or channels which cany off 
the water from the decks. In a small half-decked boat the narrow 
decking round the well is called the water ways. 

Water war. — Another name for the peculiar rising of the tide 
which in the Severn is called the bore, or anciently, the hygre. 
(See Eagre.) 

Wattles. — Hurdles composed of withies woven together and 
often placed along a river bank at high-water mark to keep the 
banks from falling in. 

Wavesori. — Goods after shipwreck floating on the waves. 

Way.* — Momentum. — It is important to note the difference 
between this and the term "weigh," the two being often con- 
founded. A vessel in motion is said to have way on her : and when 
she ceases to move, to have no way. But a vessel under weigh is 
one in the act of weighing her anchor, or having weighed it, during 
which time she has no way on her. 

Fresh way is increased speed made by a vessel under sail. (See 
under Fresh. ) 

Head-way. — To make head -way is to make progress forward. (See 
under HEAD). 

Stern-way. — A vessel makes stern-way when by some accident 
she moves stern foremost. (See under Stern.) 

To gather way is to make fresh way. 

To lose way, to fail in making any progress and lose that already 

Gang-way. — An opening in the bulwarks of a vessel, through 
whicli a gang -board may be pushed. 

'Way aloft, or 'way up (literally aivay aloft). — A command to 
the crew of a ship to go aloft to furl, reef, etc. 

Ways. — Baulks of timber laid down for launching vessels upon, or 
for moving any heavy weight. 

Wear (from "weather") or veer. — To wear or wear ship is to 
put a vessel on the other tack by bringing her round stern to wind 
(in other words by paying her head off before the wind) ; and it is, 
therefore, the opposite to tacking, which brings her round head to 
wind. (Compare with Tack.) In fore-and-aft boats the practice 
is not general ; but there are occasions, and more especially with 

* Way is occasionally the same as a ship's run or rake, but is most commonly 
understood of her sailing. (Falconer.) 



slow turning craft, as for instance when from a heavy sea a boat 
refuses to " wind helm," upon which it is necessary to wear. The 
safest plan is then to settle the peak, trim in the main sheet, and 
press the helm up. As the boat gets stern to wind the sail will 
naturally gybe, and as soon as this has taken place the peak may be 
again hauled up, the sheet trimmed, and the boat brought on the 
other tack to the desired course. It would appear, from the accounts 
of fights between sailing ships, that wearing was a very common 
evolution in old naval warfare. 

Wear bare. — Spoken of ropes that are thin and weak from 
constant friction and exposure. Ropes should always be renewed 
before they have worn bare. 

"Weather (Anglo-Saxon ivoeder, the temperature of the atmo- 
sphere).— The term as a nautical expression, says Smyth, is applied 
to all things to windward of some particular situation. Hence the 
following : The weather side of a vessel is the side upon which the 
wind blows, the other side being the leeward. To weather another 
ship (in sailing) is to pass her on the weather or windward side. To 
weather a gale is to lie to in a gale ; that is with the vessel's head 
to wind ; and she is said to have weathered the gale when she has 
lived safely through it. 

Weather beam. — That side of the ship's beam presented to the 

Weather board. — That side of the ship to windward. 

Weather boards. — Boards set up round the bows of a boat to 
prevent water from coming over her. They usually extend from 
the headpost to a point just forward of the shrouds. It must 
be admitted, however, that as a boat ships water at the shrouds 
quite as much as over the bows, and in some cases a good deal more, 
the weather boards are seldom taken sufficiently far aft. It would 
undoubtedly be better, therefore, to carry them from the headpost to 
the beam amidships, when that is possible. 

Weather boat. — One which behaves herself well, or the reverse, in 
any weather. The one is a good weather boat, the other a bad. 

Weather-bound or weather-fast (anciently woeder-foest). — Unable 
to proceed because of the condition of the weather. 

Weather clew. — (See Clew.) 

Weather-cocking. — A term used of boats which have a troublesome 
habit of running up to the wind and refusing to pay off either on one 
side or the other. The position such a boat then assumes is supposed 
to resemble that of a weather-cock ; whence the term. It may be 
caused through some mistake on the part of the helmsman (see Miss 
stays under Tack) or it may be the fault of the boat itself being 
too much down by the head ; in winch latter case, if a change in the 
disposition of the ballast does not cure the fault, a considerable 
increase in the size or weight of the rudder has been recom- 
mended. Very long boats will be more liable to this than short 


Weather coil. — " An expression signifying that a ship has had her" 
head brought about, so as to lie that way which her stern did 
before, as by the veering of the wind, or the motion of the helm ; 
the sails remaining trimmed." (Smyth.) 

Weather coiling. — " A ship resuming her course after being taken 
aback ; rounding off bv a stern-board, and coining up to it again." 

Weather eye. — " Keep your weather eye open" — keep a good look 
out to windward. Hence in general conversation it usually means 
keep a good look out. 

Weather gage is the distance of a vessel (or any object) from 
another on the weather or wind side ; e.g. , a ship on the weather 
side (or to windward) of another is said to have the weather gage of 
her ; just as that one to leeward is said to have the lee gage. 

Weather gall. — (See Wind Gall.) 

" A weather gall at morn 
Fine weather all gone. " 

Weather helm. — A vessel is described as carrying weather helm 
when — her tendency being to run up into the wind — the helm must 
be kept over to the weather side. Therefore, to give her weather 
helm is to put the helm up, i.e., over to the weather side. (Compare 
with Lee helm, under the heading Helm.) 

Weather lurch. — A roll over to windwai-d. 

Weather ropes. — The tarred ropes (old term, before wire roping 
was brought in). 

Weather sheets (in square rig). — The ropes attached to those 
corners of a square sail which for the time being are the tacks or 
weather clews. (See Tack and Clew.) 

Weather shore. — The shore to windward. (Illustrated under the 
heading Lee.) 

Weather tide. — A tide running weatherwards ; or, in other words, 
a tide which, running contrary to the direction of the wind, presses a 
vessel, as she is sailing, towards the windward. (See fig. under Lee.) 

Weather warning. — A forecast from the Meteorological Office. 
(See Signals.) 

Weather wheel. — " The position of a man who steers a large ship, 
from his standing on the weather side of the wheel. " (Smyth.) 

Weed. — To clear rigging of knots, seizings, etc. 

Weekly account. — " An old name for a white patch on the 
collar of a midshipman's coat." (Smyth.) 

Weeping'. — Drops of water oozing through the seams of a vessel. 

Weevil. — (Anglo-Saxon weft). — An insect resembling a maggot, 
found in old biscuits ; it also perforates wood. 

Weft. — In sail-making, the width measurement in a sail cloth, 
the length measure being the warp. 

Wejt.—A small flag. (See Wheft.) 

x 2 


Weigh (Anglo-Saxon woeg). — To lift the anchor from the 
ground. (See Anchor.) This term must not be confounded with 
"way," as is too often the case. (See Way.) A vessel is under 
weigh from the moment her anchor is weighed, or off, the ground (or 
as soon as she has slipped her mooring), even though she may have 
no way on her. 

Well. —That part of a yacht or sailing boat which is not decked 
or covered in : it is often called the cockpit. 

Well room is the space in a half-decked boat which is open or 
undecked, and hence resembles a well. The deep part of a vessel, 
in which water accumulates, and from which it is pumped, or, in 
boats, baled out, is also sometimes called the well. North Sea and 
other fishing vessels are built with a large compartment in their 
holds, through which the water passes so that fish may be preserved 
alive for a considerable period. This compartment is called the 
well. It appears also in the old Thames peter-boat. 

Well found. — A vessel fully equipped and with all gear in good 
condition is said to be well found. 

Well grown, said of a spar or timber when the grain of the wood 
runs in the right direction. 

"Well there!" usually "Well there, belay!" — Equivalent to 
saying " That will do, belay !" 

Wending (another name for, though more correctly a local pro- 
nunciation of the term, winding). — Putting a vessel about. (See 

Wentle (old term). — To roll over. 

West. — A cardinal point on the compass. 

Westing. — Distance westward. The movement of the sun after 
passing the meridian. 

Westward Ho ! — This was one of the cries of the old Thames 
watermen. It signified a readiness to proceed westward. 

West Country parson. — " The hake ; from the black mark on its 
back, and its abundance on the West coast." 

Wet. — A wet boat. — One which sails all awash, i.e., gunwales 
under ; or one which plunges her head, bringing water aboard. 

Wet dock. — A dock in which vessels float. / 

Whaler. — A ship employed in the whale trade. 

Whale boat. — A long boat used in whaling. It is sharp at both 
ends, swift and buoyant. Old whale boats may often be seen along 
the coast, having generally been picked up as bargains by the 
'longshore men. Some of these boats reach to 56ft. in length, 
with a beam of 10ft. 

Wharf. — 1. A lading place for vessels. 

Wharf dues. — Charges made for lading or discharging cargoes at 
certain wharfs. 

Wharfinger. — One who owns a wharf. 

2. A scar of rock, or a sand bank, as Mud Wharf, Lancashire. 




What. — What cheer Ho ? (often pronounced " whatchee " for 
what cheer ?). — A greeting common in many localities ; more 
especially in the Eastern counties. 

What ship is that ? — A signal expressed hy B D of the International 
Code, and often seen permanently exposed at Lloyd's signalling 
stations. Hence, when a person uses an exceptionally long word, 
or some expression heyond the understanding of his hearers, the 
seafaring man may not unnaturally ask, " What ship is that ?" 

Wheel. — The wheel and axle hy which the tiller of a vessel is 
worked. It is not frequently found in yachts, though steam- 
launches, even of the smallest size, are usually furnished with it, to 
enahle one man to both steer and drive the engine. 

Wheel house. — A covering over the wheel in large vessels. 

Wheel ropes or chains. — The ropes or chains which communicate 
with the ship's tiller from the wheel. 

Wheft. — 1. (Often called xohiff or waft).— 
A long streamer used either as a signal or 
at the mast head, for ornament or to aid in 
steering. 2. In sail making. (See Weft.) 

Whelk. — A mollusc, Buccinum undatum, 
much consumed in East London, and valu- 
able as bait for fishing. 

Whelk tingle, or clog-whelk. — A smaller 
whelk (Purpura lapillus), which has the power to bore through the 
shells of other molluscs, and is, therefore, the bite noir of oyster 

Whelps. — The projecting ribs on the barrel of a capstan or 
windlass. They enable a cable to get a good bite. 

Wherry (said to be another form of the word "ferry," from 
the fact that wherries were often ferry boats). — Wherries have been, 
in time past, of different builds and employed for different purposes, 
and they have, like skiffs, a different use according to locality. 
The old Thames wherries, of 
which some few are still to be 
seen, were wide and long, with 
a high pointed bow ending in a 
sharp iron nose. (See fig.) They 
were the boats used by watermen, 
and often became ferry boats. 
Where the wherry is actually a 
feny boat, it is often pointed both l>ow and stem, and rowed either 
way. Sometimes it is large and almost resembles a pontoon. 

Norfolk wherry. — In Norfolk the wheny is a trading barge, of 
peculiar build and una rigged. (See under NORFOLK.) 

Whiff.— 1. A small flag. (See Wheft.) 2. The name given on 
the Thames to a long, narrow, out-rigged sculling boat used for 
racing. It superseded the wedge-shaped wager boat, being made 
by the Claspers, and has, in its turn, been superseded for racing 

.t'±j. ■ — *•— 

Old Thames Wherry. 



purposes by the best boat (which see) of the present day. But it is 
still used by scullers in practice, and in rum turn races. It is often 
clincher built. 

One who blows a fife. 

and single block used in lifting light 

Whiffler (old term).- 

Whip.— 1. "A rope 
articles. If another block is added the medium is known as a 
double whip." (Smyth.) 

Whip upon ivhip. — " One whip applied to the fall of another, and 
so on." (Smyth.) 

2. To whip. — To bind up, as a rope served (or bound) with tarred 
twine is said to be whipped ; from which we have — 

Whipping. — A sort of string of spun yarn, saturated with Stock- 
holm tar, and generally used in whipping the ends of ropes. (See 
under KNOTS.) 

Whipper. — One who unloads colliers into 
lighters on the Thames. 

Whirl. — Another name for a rope-winch. 

Whiskers. — Cross-trees to a bowsprit ; or in 
large vessels to a jib-boom. They are employed in 
small craft, where the bowsprit is long, or when 
the bows of the boat are narrow, to extend the 
bowsprit shrouds and give increased lateral support 
to the bowsprit, just as top-mast shrouds, extended 
on the cross-trees, do to a top-mast. (See fig.) 

Whistle. — Whistling for the wind is a practice 
so ancient and so constantly followed by a majority 
of the seafaring and fishing community, that it is 
difficult to believe that it can ever die out. And, 
indeed, if the amateur who has not yet tried the 
experiment is willing to do so on the next occasion 
upon which the wind fails him, he will very possibly 
return a partial believer in it himself. 

Whistling psalms to the taffrail. — An expression 
signifying the throwing away of good advice upon some person who 
may be about as susceptible to its influence as is the taffrail of his 

Wet your whistle. — To drink. Chaucer's " Miller's Lady of 
Trumpington " had " Hir joly whistle wel ywette." 

White. — White boot-top. — The white line painted round a vessel. 

White caps or ivhite horses. — Waves the crests of which break 
into white foam. 

White lapel. — " An old term for a naval lieutenant, from the 
white lapel on his uniform." 

White rope. — Rope which is not tarred. (See Rope. ) 

White squall. — A sudden squall of wind, often unforeseen, cover- 
ing the sea with a mass of foam called spoon-drift. It is common to 
the tropics and occasionally occurs in the Mediterranean. 



Wholesome (often written "holsom"). — The behaviour of a 
vessel in a heavy gale. One which will " try, hull, and ride " safely 
and well is wholesome. 

Wick (Anglo-Saxon wye). — " A creek, hay, or village by the 
side of a river," as Hampton Wick, on the Thames ; Walberswick, 
on the Suffolk coast, etc. 

Widder shins. — A slang word signifying "in a direction 
contrary to that of the sun. " 

Widows'men. — "Imaginary sailors, formerly borne on the books 
as A.B.'s for wages in every ship in commission ; they ceased with 
the consolidated pay at the close of the war. The institution was 
dated 24 George II., to meet widows' pensions; the amount of 
pay and provisions for two men in each hundred was paid over by 
the Paymaster-general of the Navy to the widows' fund." (Smyth.) 
Captain Basil Hall descril>es the system as " an official fiction by 
which the pay of so many imaginary persons was transferred to a 
fund for the relief of the widows of non-commissioned and warrant 

Wild (in sailing). — To steer badly. In rowing, to keep bad 
time, a bad stroke, and get excited. 

Wimble (with shipwrights). — The boring implement worked by 
the centre-bit. 

Winch (Anglo-Saxon tvince). — A species of small windlass with 
a crank, which in some small yachts takes the place of the windlass. 

Winch bitts.— The posts which support the winch. 

Wind. — Wind, in sailing, is described according to the direction 
in winch it blows upon a vessel. Refer- 
ence to the accompanying diagram will 
best explain the following terms. A. 
Wind a'head. B. Wind a'baft, or 
a'stern. (Sailing with the wind thus 
is called " running. ") C. Wind on the 
port beam. D. Wind on the star- 
board beam. E. Wind on the port 
bow. F. Wind on the starboard bow. 

(A vessel with the wind on the bow -c ► i 

is sailing " close-hauled. ") G. Wind 

athwart the beam, port side. H. 

Wind athwart the beam, starboard 

side. (With the wind athwart the 

beam a vessel is " reaching.") J. 

Wind a'baft the beam, port side. 

K. Wind a'baft the beam, starboard 

side. (With the wind in this direction 

the vessel is " sailing large " or " free. ") L. Wind on the port 

quarter. M. Wind on the starboard quarter. 

To wind is to go about head to wind as in tacking (see Tack) ; 
and a vessel having come round is said to have winded. To sail 



in the eye of the wind is equivalent to sailing very close to the wind, 
that is, as nearly against the direction of the -wind as possible. 

Windward. — That side of a vessel or of any other object upon 
which the wind is blowing. It is often called the weather side. 

To wind a call. — To pipe a call upon the whistle, as a boatswain 
does the orders. 

Wind banks. — Long clouds supposed to prognosticate wind. 

Wind-bound. — Unable to proceed because of contrary winds. 

Wind gall. — " A luminous halo on the edge of a distant cloud, 
where there is rain, usually seen in the wind's eye, and looked upon 
as a sure precursor of stormy weather. Also an atmospheric effect 
of prismatic colours, said likewise to indicate bad weather if seen 
to leeward." (Smyth.) 

Wind Upper. — A very slight distur- 
bance on the surface of the sea — the 
first effect of a breeze. 

Windmill. — In rowing, lifting the 
oars so high out of the water eacli 
time a stroke is taken that their 
motion resembles that of the sails of 
a windmill. It is an art in which be- 
ginners are peculiarly adept. (See fig. ) 

Windmills (on ships). — These are 
sometimes seen on sailing ships, more 
especially on foreigners. Their use is 
to work the pumps. (See fig.) 

Wind-rode. — When the wind over- 
comes the tide so that a vessel lying 
at anchor rides with it (and therefore, 
against the tide). 

Wind sail. — A tube or awning of canvas, employed in hot lati- 
tudes to convey a draught of fresh air to the lower parts of a ship. 

Wind-taut. — " A vessel at anchor heeling over to the force of the 
wind." (Smyth.) 

In the eye of the wind. — Sailing veiy close to the wind. 

In the teeth of the wind. — Making progress directly against the wind. 

Head to wind. — The position of a ship when her stem points 
exactly in the direction of the wind. In sailing evolutions vessels 
are generally brought round head to wind. (See Tack.) 

Winds. — " Chirrents in the atmosphere conveying air with more 
or less velocity from one part to another. A contraction or expan- 
sion in one part of the atmosphere, such as is caused by a variation 
in temperature, or by an increase or diminution in the quantity of 
aqueous vapour suspended in the air, will disturb the equilibrium, 
and produce a wind. . . Winds may be divided into three 
classes : — 1. Permanent winds, as the trade winds of the torrid 
zone. 2. Periodical winds, as the monsoons of the Indian Ocean. 
3. Variable winds, as the winds of the temperate and frigid zones. " 
(Brande and Cox.) 




Tlie tendency of winds lias been found to be a veering round with 
the motion of the sun, that is, from north through east to south, 
and so through west back to north ; and it has been observed that 
this circle may be traversed for several days continuously, though 
the circle in the opposite direction is very rarely, if ever, completed. 
(See Backing or the Wind.) 

The velocity of wind may vary from a motion almost impercep- 
tible to one of upwards of a hundred miles per hour. The following 
table is that generally accepted in the definition of winds : — 

Figures to indicate the Force and Velocity of the Wind 
(from Lloyd's "Seaman's Almanac," 1897). 

lent mean 

in English 
miles i 
hour. ^ 

0. Calm .. 

1. Light air 

2 Light 

„ Gentle 
* Breeze. 

. Moderate 
• Breeze. 

Just sufficient to give steerage way 

TO'*i. x.- x. ii f 1 to 2 knots 

With which a well-con- 
ditioned ship-of-war, of 
i Admiral Beaufort's time j 
^(1800-1850), with all sail set, s 
would go in smooth water, 
and " clean full ' ' from 

3 to 4 knots 

5. Fresh Breeze 

6 Strong 
• Breeze. 




10. Whole Gale 

To which she could just 
carry in chase "full < 
and by " — 

5 to 6 knots 

For ships 
Royals, etc . with doubli- 
topsails and 



topsails, jib, 


topsails, etc. 



topsails and 


With which she could scarcely bear 
close-reefed main-topsail and reefed 

Which would reduce her to storm-sails. 
Which no canvas could withstand. 

Topsails, jib, 

Reefed upper 

topsails and 


Lower top- 
sails and 
Lower main- 
topsail and 









* These modifications are made to meet the requirements of double topsails, 
introduced since Admiral Beaufort's time. 

** These velocities have been calculated at the Meteorological Office by the use of 
the factor 3 for reducing the indications of a large-sized Robinson Anemometer to 
the velocities of the wind. 



A gale is a continuous storm ; it ranges from a fresh gale to a 
strong gale, and lastly to a heavy, hard, or whole gale. (See Gale.) 

Windlass. — The wheel and axle, turned by either handspikes or 
a crank, by which the chain cable of a vessel (or any other weight) 
may be hauled in. To prevent the windlass from moving backwards, 
it has a ratchet wheel connected with it, into the teeth of which fall 
one or more pawls ; the pawl being, of course, lifted when it is 
necessary to pay out chain, or, as they used to say on ship-board, to 
" freshen hawse." The uprights which support and take the bearing 
of the windlass are known as the windlass bitts or chocks ; and the 
smaller head, which, in large windlasses, carries the pawls, is called 
the pawl-bitt. 

Spanish windlass. — " A machine formed of a hand-spike and a 
small lever, usually a tree-nail ; or a tree-nail and a marling spike ; 
to set up rigging, heave in short purchases, etc." 

Wing 1 . — The studding sails of a square 
rigged ship are sometimes thus called ; as 
also, in sailing with the wind aft, may be 
the spinnaker and mainsail of a yacht. (See 
Wing and Wing, below.) 

Wings (in large ships). — Passages below, 
along the sides, to enable carpenters to get 
at any leak. The lee boards of barges are 
also sometimes called tvooden wings. 

Wing and wing is an expression invented 
long before the naming of that which we 
now call a spinnaker, and which shows its 
principle to be of some antiquity, for old 
works define the term as used of fore-and- 
aft vessels when running before the wind. 
" the foresail boomed out on one side, and 
the mainsail on the other " : and this prac- 
tice of making one sail serve the purpose 
of both balloon jib and spinnaker has again 
become very common in yacht racing. In 
square rigged vessels, when studding sails 
are set both sides (as in running), they are 
said to be wing and wing, and with lateen 
rig, a vessel with two masts often runs with 
the peak of the fore -sail on one side, and 
that of the main sail on the other (see 

Wing transoms (in shipbuilding). — The 
uppermost transoms in the stern frame of a 
vessel. Or a transom supporting the stern of a square-sterned 

" Wire. — Wire-rope. — This is of steel or iron, and is now almost 
universally employed for standing rigging — such as shrouds, etc. ; 

Wing and Wing. 


the difficulty of coiling it prevents it, however, from being used for 
other purposes. It is often galvanized, though this is found to 
somewhat weaken it. Its cost, compared with that of hemp, is 
scarcely more than half. Stout wire rope may be spliced, but when 
thin it becomes considerably damaged, and therefore weakened by 

Wire stretcher. — (See SET-SCREW.) 

Wiring. — A stringer or batten upon which the thwarts (seats) of 
a boat rest : it is fixed to the ribs. The thwarts do not (or should 
not) rest upon the sides of the boat, but are fixed by knees to a short 
piece called a wiring clamp, and that to the wiring. 

With the sun. — In the same direction as the sun's path — i.e., 
from east through south to west. Often said when turning anything 

Withe. — A boom iron, i.e., an iron at the head of a boom, yard, or 
bowsprit with a ring on it through which another spar can run — or 
it may be a joint, like that of a fishing-rod, by which the length of 
a spar is made up : this being a useful way, in small craft, of rigging 
out a spinnaker boom. 

Within. — Within 4 points, 6 points, etc. — Sailing close-hauled at 
a certain angle with the direction of the wind. (See under Sailing.) 

Within and ivithout board. — The same as in-board and out-board 
(b)th of which see). 

Withy. — A place where willows grow. Hence the willow itself, 
or a twig of it, is called a withy. 

Wood. — Wood ends. — Another name for hood ends or hooding s 
(which see). 

Woodloch. — A block of wood nailed near some movable object 
to prevent it from shifting ; as those which sometimes keep a rudder 

Wood sheathing. — The feathered planking used in doubling a 

Wood wings. — The lee boards of barges are occasionally thus 

Woolding. — The strengthening of a weakened spar by binding 
it up. " Winding a piece of rope about a mast or yard to support 
it when it is fished, or when composed of several pieces." 

Work. — 1. To work signifies to set and keep going, as — 

To work a vessel. — To adapt the sails to the wind, steer, etc. 

To work the sheets. — To haul in or let them out as occasion may 
require. 2. But in another sense we have — 

To work up or prepare, as to work up junk — i.e., to draw out 
yarns, old cable, etc., and with it to make foxes, points, gaskets, 
sinnit or spun-yarn, etc. 

Working.— \. This word as applied to the planks of a vessel 
signifies '" to open " or " work open " as she strains in a sea, and the 
extent to which she works is called her give {which see). 


2. Working to windward. — Beating to windward, or making 
progiess against the wind. (See under Tack.) 

3. Working a day's work (at sea). — " Reducing the dead 
reckoning and meridian altitude to noon of each day," so as to 
determine a ship's position on the earth. 

The word work is also applied to certain sails, as — 

Working foresail (in fore-and-aft rig). — A foresail which runs on a 

Working lug, the same as a standing lug ; and it often has a 
boom. (See Lug.) 

Working topsail (in fore-and-aft rig). — The most general form 
of big-topsail. It is, in fact, a working or standing lugsail elevated 
above the mainsail. (See TOPSAIL.) 

And in various other senses ; thus : 

Working deck, sometimes called spar deck. (See Deck.) 

Working up (old term). — Keeping men at work as punishment. 

Worm. — Worm, parcel and serve. — A method of protecting 
parts of a rope which are likely to be chafed. It is first wormed, by 
laying thin pieces of line (the worms) between the strands ; next 
parcelled by winding strips of canvas (saturated with tar) over the 
part wormed ; and lastly served or tightly bound with spun yarn. 
There is an old rhyme with respect to this proceeding which runs : — 

" Worm and parcel with the lay, 
And serve your rope the other way. " 

Wrack. — Sea weed and (perhaps) all else which has been cast by 
the sea on the ebb-diy foreshore. 

Wreck (it is said that this term is derived from wrack, denoting 
all that the sea washes on shore as it does this weed). — A wreck is, — 
1. The destruction of a ship by the sea ; or (as the insurance policies 
put it) by the act of God ; 2. The ship herself (or the remnant of 
her) after this act. A vessel may, in a sense, be said to become a 
wreck when there is no longer any hope of saving her : but, in 
law, she is no wreck while any person or domestic animal 
remains alive aboard her ; and this fact is said to have given rise, in 
times past, to acts which one might well feel ashamed to recount. 

Wreckage. — " Goods cast up by the sea after a shipwreck, and left 
on land within the limits of some county." Goods jettisoned or cast 
overboard, and not stranded, do not come under this head. (See 
Flotsam, Jetsam and Lagan.) Wreckage is now taken charge of 
by " receivers of wreck," who keep it a certain time, after which, if 
not claimed, it becomes the property of the Crown, and is sold in open 

Wreckers. — In times past, men Avho made it their business to 
gather up the spoils of wrecks, and who are said to have occasionally 
employed means to bring wrecks about. To-day the name is 
occasionally opprobriously applied to those fishermen and others 
who may always be found ready to risk their lives in going out to 


ships in distress, both to save other lives, as well as on the chance of 
earning that which very frequently turns out to be but a miserable 
reward for their labours : for which latter reason they are often 
called "grabbers " by those who sit at home, and, while risking 
nothing, are certainly not less eager after plunder. The nation may 
feel proud, however, that in the Admiralty it has a court which 
recognises the enormous risks these men run, and is always anxious 
to award them just compensation. 

Wreck free. — Exempt from the forfeiture of wreckage. Under 
Edward I. this privilege was granted the lords of the Cinque Ports. 

Wring. — To twist or injure by too severe a pressure. 

Wrong 1 . — To wrong another (in sailing). — To take the wind out 
of her sails by unfair means. Under some circumstances this may, 
in racing, constitute afoul. 

Wrung heads.— (See Rung.) 

Xebec (pronounced "zebech'' 1 ). — A small three-masted vessel, 
lateen-rigged, and often with an overhanging bow, used in convey- 
ing merchandise in the Mediterranean and sometimes seen on the 
west coast of Spain. 


Yacht. — It is impossible to define this term, and it may, there- 
fore, be best to give it its broadest meaning, i.e., a pleasure vessel, 
of any sort, size or shape, from the half-decked boats of the inland 
rivers to the three-masted " Sunbeam, " the well-known ship belong- 
ing to Lord Brassey. 

Yard. — A spar suspended to a mast for the purpose of extending 
a sail. It is elevated by means of a rope ; and this rope is accord- 
ingly called a halyard (i.e., haul yard). In square-rigged vessels 
the yards go athwart the masts — i.e., at right angles to the keel line. 
In fore-and-aft rig they run fore and aft, i.e., in a line parallel with 
the keel. Yards take their names from the sails they cany : on a 
full-rigged ship there will be five on each mast. On the main mast 
the main yard, main top-sail yard, main top-gallant yard, main 
royal yard, main sky-sail yard, and in rare instances a yard to 
higher sails called respectively the moon-raker and the juniper - r 
and the same on the other masts, substituting for " main," the 
word " fore " or " mizzen " as the case may be, with the exception 
that the lowest yard on the mizzen mast is known as the cross 
jack (which see) or crotched yard. The yard of a square-rigged ship 
is divided into two parts, each part being again sub-divided into four. 
The middle is called the sling ; the end the yard arm; and the 
distance between these, the quarters. Hence we have the 1st, 2nd, 




and 3rd quarters, and the 4th 
or yard arm, on each side. 
(See fig.) The yard arms are 
very frequently mentioned both 
at sea and in all literature re- 
lating to it. It is from them 
that punishments (keel haul- 
ing, etc.), said once to have 
been practised in the British 
Navy, and most probably so 
in the Dutch, were performed. 
To the yard arms the braces 
are attached, which work or 
traverse the yards about the 
masts, and beyond them run 
out small booms which cany 
the studding sails, when set 
in fair weather. 

Brace the yards. — To traverse 
them about the masts so as to 
present the sails at a proper 
angle to the wind. 

Top the yards. — To elevate 
one side by the lifts so that it is 
higher than the other. (See fig. ) 

Yards a'peak. — The yards topped in such a manner as to resemble 
the letter X ; this is sometimes a sign of mourning. (See fig.) 

Yard tackles. — Tackles attached to the yard arms for lifting 
anything into the ship. 

In fore-and-aft rig the word " yard " is less often used, but still 
there are several spars called yards ; and rightly so, for they are both 
balanced to the mast and carry sails, and are swayed (lifted), more- 
over, by hal-yards. Such are the : — 

Topsail yard (or gaff topsail yard) which extends the head of a 
big- topsail. 

Jack-yard. — This is, generally speaking, a small yard, and in fore- 
and-aft rig it extends the head or foot of a sail beyond some other 
sail or spar. The term " jack " is rather indiscriminately applied by 
seamen; its general meaning, however, is "small" or extra." 
Thus in a jack top-sail, the jack -yard is a pole standing in a vertical 
position, its end rising beyond the head of the mast ; while in a big, 
or, as it is sometimes called, a spinnaker top-sail, the jack-yard is 
a small boom, at the foot of the sail, projecting beyond the guy- 
end of the gaff. (Both these are illustrated under the heading 

Booms and gaffs are not, properly speaking, yards; but a sprit, 
on the other hand, may be regarded as such. (See under SPRIT-) 
The spars to which the heads of lug sails are bent are also called 



Yards must be kept in to the mast, or otherwise they would lift, 
and their sails become practically useless. They are, therefore, kept 
in by various devices, mostly in the form of hoops of iron or rope, 
called yard guides or parrels. A sprit is kept in place by fitting 
its heel into a loop called the snotter. 

Yarn. — Fibrous threads, which, being twisted together, compose 
the strands used in making a rope. 

Yaw. — Yawing (of a sailing vessel) is deviating from the true 
course. A person who is careless or ignorant of the method of 
steering, keeps a boat " yawing " from side to side. Great care 
should be taken, therefore, by beginners, not to fall into this 
fault, which is considered quite unpardonable by yachtsmen. 

Yaw sighted. — Having a squint. 

Yawl. — A vessel . 

with two masts — 
main and mizzen, 
the mizzen being 
small and carrying 
usually only one sail. 
It is a serviceable rig 
for cruising yachts, 
the boom not ex- 
tending beyond the 
taffrail, which there- 
fore allows of the sail 
being easily reefed. 
The mizzen sail, too, 
has many ad vantages 
— it helps the boat 
round when in stays; 
it keeps her steady 
in a rolling sea ; it 
counteracts an over- 
press of head can- 
vas ; in going up to 
moorings, or in mov- 
ing the boat only 
a short distance, it 
may be used with 
the aid only of a 
foresail ; and, in a 
word, it renders the 
boat essentially a 
handy craft. But, 
on the other hand, the great loss of sail area sustained by placing a 
mizzen where, as in a cutter, the foot of the mainsail would extend 
beyond the taffrail, precludes it from being a fast rig ; and for this 
reason, perhaps, the yawl is no longer so popular as it Mas, the cutter 
having superseded it. 

Various Yawls. 



Tell (old term). — A rolling motion. 

Yellow. — Yellow flag. — The flag carried by vessels in quarantine. 
Where this is seen it is wise to always pass to windward of it. 

Yellowing.— The passing over of captains at a flag-promotion. An 
old term for a malpractice which, perhaps, may not be altogether 

Yellow fever. — An old term made use of in S^ 233 
Greenwich Hospital, and denoting drunken- 

Yoke. — A fitting 
gether, as the yoke 
called the lower-cap. 
the trestle trees), or, 
which a topmast runs. 

Yoke of a rudder. 

binding two parts to- 
of a mast, commonly 
The lower aperture (in 
often, a ring through 
(See fig. ; also C AP. ) 
-The flat plate or tiller 
to which, in long, open boats, the rudder or 
yoke lines are attached. (See fig. ; also under 

Yoke lines. — Another name for rudder 

Young. — Young gentlemen. — On board a 
war-ship the midshipmen are thus termed. 

Young flood (of the tide). — The first of the rising tide. 
Youngster. — A fresh hand, or a young boy. 
Yunker. —Another name for youngster. 



Zenith. — The point directly overhead of any person. 
Zephyr. — The West wind : but in general conversation it often 
signifies only a bight wind. 

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Antiquities, English 3 
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Designing, Harmonic 7 

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Wilson's Lice and Tick Lotion.— Perfectly harmless to the dogs should they lick it off, 

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possibly can, and is highly valued by all who have used it. In bottles, 1/6, 3/-, 5/- 

10/6, post free. 
Wilson's Laryngitis and Bronchitis Mixture. — This medicine can be given in conjunction 

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Wilson's Hair Stimulant.— The most wonderful hair producer known. Try it yourself 

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2/6, 5/-, 10/6, post free. 
Wilson's Mange or Eczema Cure. — This remedy has never failed, even in the most 

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Wilson's Stomachic Tonic— Keeps Puppies growing and healthy, helping to assimilate 

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it produces an immense lather and leaves a beautiful gloss on the coat, and the skin 

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Wilson's Cborea Capsules.— A certain cure for this most dreaded disease. In boxes, 

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Book on Diseases of Dogs and Cats Post Free on Application. 




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Air-Gunner, The Complete. A Sound Practical Book on Home Culture in 
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Collie, The. As a Show Dog, Companion, and Worker. By Hugh Dalziel. 
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Guide to Connoisseurs and Collectors of Old English Furniture. By G. Owen 
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Game Preserving, Practical. Containing the fullest Directions for Rearing 

and Preserving both Winged and Ground Game, and Destroying Vermin ; 

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Gardening, Dictionary of. A Practical Encyclopaedia of Horticulture, for 

Amateurs and Professionals. Illustrated with 3150 Engravings. Edited by 

G. Nicholson, Curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ; assisted by Prof. 

Trail, M.D., Rev. P. VV. Myles, B.A., F.L.S. W. Watson, J. Garrett, and 

other Specialists. In 5 vols., large post 4to. Cloth gilt, price £4, carriage 

paid £4/1/6. 
Gardening, Home. A Manual for the Amateur, Containing Instructions for 

the Laying Out, Stocking, Cultivation, and Management of Small Gardens- 
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Gardening, Open- Air : The Culture of Hardy Flowers, Fruit, and Vegetables. 

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Glass, Early English, of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries. A Handbook for 

the Collector. By Daisy Wilmer. Splendidly Illustrated from Photographs 

of Representative Pieces taken from the collections of the Author and Others. 

[In the Press. 
Glues and Cements. A Practical Book on Making and Using Glues, 

Cements, and Fillings. Invaluable in every Workshop. By H. J. S. Cassal 

(Author of "Chucks and Chucking," &c.\ Illustrated. In paper, price 1/-, 

by post 1/2. 
Goat, The Book of the. Containing full particulars of the various Breeds of 

Goats, and their Profitable Management. By H. S. HOLMES Pegler (Hon. 

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Goat-Keeping for Amateurs: Being the Practical Management of Goats 

for Milking Purposes. With a chapter on Diseases. Hlustrated. In paper, 

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Grape Growing for Amateurs. A Thoroughly Practical Book on Successful 

Vine Culture. By E. Molyneux. Illustrated. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Greenhouse Construction and Heating. Containing Full Descriptions 
of the Various Kinds of Greenhouses, Stove Houses, Forcing Houses, Pits and 
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Greenhouse Management for Amateurs. The Best Greenhouses and 
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Greyhound, The: Its History, Points, Breeding, Rearing, Training, and 
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Guinea Pig, The, for Food, Fur, and Fancy. Its Varieties and its Manage- 
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Handwriting, Character Indicated by. With Illustrations in Support of 
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Hardy Perennials and Old-fashioned Garden Flowers. Descriptions, 
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Hawk Moths, Book of British. A Popular and Practical Manual for all 
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price 3/6, by post 3/9. 

Heraldry for Amateurs. A Popular Handbook for the uninitiated in 
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Horse Buying and Management. A Practical Handbook for the 
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Horse-Keeper, The Practical. By George Fleming, C.B., LL.D., 
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Horse-Keeping for Amateurs. A Practical Manual on the Management 
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Horses, Diseases of: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. For the 
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Incubators and their Management. By J. H. Sutcliffe. Fifth Edition, 
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Jack All Alone. Being a Collection of Descriptive Yachting Reminiscences. 
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Jiu-Jitsu and other Methods of Self-Defence. Describing and Illustrating 
the Japanese Art of Jiu-Jitsu, with a section specially adapted to Ladies, 
together with a description of a number of Tricks of Self-Defence, well 
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Journalism, Practical. How to Enter Thereon and Succeed. A Book for 
all who think of " Writing for the Press." By John Dawson. Second Edition. 
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Kennel Management, Practical. A Complete Treatise on the Proper 
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Lace, A History of Hand-Made. By Mrs. E. Nkvill Jackson. 
With Supplementary Remarks by Signor Ernesto Jesurum. Exquisitely 
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their application to Dress as shown in numerous Portraits and Monochrome 
and Sepia Plates of great beauty. In crown 4to, cloth gilt, price 18/-, by post 
18/6. Edition de Luxe, on large paper, containing 12 specimens of Ileal Lace, 
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Lawn Tennis, Lessons in. A New Method of Study and Practice for 
acquiring a Good and Sound Style of Plav. With Exercises. By Eustace 
H. Miles. Third and Revised Edition. Illustrated. In paper, price 1/-, by 
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Lawn Tennis, Secrets of: A useful Guide to the Training and Playing of 
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Lawn Tennis Topics and Tactics. Representing the Gleanings of 
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Laying Hens, How to Keep, and to Rear Chickens in Large or Small 
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Morant. In vaper, price bd., by post Id. 

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Library Manual, The. A Guide to the Formation of a Library, and the Values 
of Rareand Standard Books. By J. H. SLATER, Barrister-at-I*aw. Third Edition. 
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Lizards, British. The Standard Work on the Subject, dealing with the Life- 
History and Distribution of the Lizards of the British Isles. By Gerald R. 
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graphs from Life, many by Douglas English and the Author. In cloth, 
price 5/-, by post 5/3. 

Magic Lanterns, Modern. A Guide to the Management of the Optical 
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price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Marqueterie Staining. Including Yernis Martin, Certosina, Oil and Water 
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Marqueterie Wood- Staining for Amateurs. A Practical Handbook 
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Medicine and Surgery, Home. A Dictionary of Diseases and Accidents, 
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Mice, Fancy: Their Varieties, Management, and Breeding. Fourth Edition, 
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Model Yachts and Boats: Their Designing, Making, and Sailing. Illustrated 
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Monkeys, Pet, and How to Manage Them. By Arthur Patterson. Illus- 
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Motorist's and Cyclist's Route Map of England and Wales. Shows clearly 
all the Main, and most of the Cross, Roads, Railroads, and the Distances 
between the Chief Towns, as well as the Mileage from London. In addition to 
this, Routes of Thirty of the Most Interesting Tours are printed in red. 
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and is the fullest, handiest, and best up-to-date tourist's map in the 
market. In cloth, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Mountaineering, Welsh. A Complete and Handy Guide to all the Best Roads 
and Bye-Paths by which the Tourist should Ascend the Welsh Mountains. By 
A. W. Perry. With Numerous Maps. In cloth gilt, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

Mushroom Culture for Amateurs. With Full Directions for Successful 
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including Pasture Lands. By W. J. May. Second Edition, thoroughly revised 
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Naturalists' Directory, The. Invaluable to all Students and Collectors. 
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Needlework, Dictionary of. An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain, and Fancy 
Needlework. By S. F. A. Caulfeild and B. C. Sawahd. Magnificently 
Illustrated with 41 Embossed and Coloured Plates of Lace, Raised, and other 
Needlework, besides a large number of Wood Engravings. 528pp. A cheap 
re-issue. In demy 4to, with satin brocade, price 21/-, postage lOrf. extra. 

Orchids: Their Culture and Management. By W. Watson (Curator, Royal 
Botanic Gardens, Kew). Third Edition, thoroughly Revised and Enlarged. 
With a List of Hybrids and their Recorded Parentage, and Detailed 
Cultural Directions. By Henry J. Chapman, one of the finest growers and 
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Royal Horticultural Society). Beautifully Illustrated with 180 Engravings 
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Otters and Otter-Hunting. A Useful Book on the Otter and on the 
fascinating sport of Hunting him with Hounds. By L. C. R. Cameron 
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and a map showing the Otter-Hunts in England, Wales, and Southern Scotland. 
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Painting, Decorative. A practical Handbook on Painting and Etching upon 
Textiles, Pottery, Porcelain, Paper, Vellum, Leather, Glass, Wood, Stone, 
Metals, and Plaster, for the Decoration of our Homes. By B. C. Saward. In 
cloth gilt, price 3/6, by post 3/10. 

Palmistry, Modern. An Explanation of the Principles of Palmistry as 
Practised to-day. By I. Oxenford, Author of " Life Studies in Palmistry." 
Numerous Original Illustrations by L Wilkins. Cheap Edition, in paper, 
price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Paper Work, Instructive and Ornamental. A practical book on the 
making of flowers and many other articles for artistic decoration, including 
a graduated course of Paper Folding and Cutting for children five to twelve 
years of age. Especially useful as preparatory exercises to the making of 
artificial flowers in silk and velvet, increasing that dexterity of hand and 
nieeness of finish so necessary to that work. By Mrs. L. Walker. Fully 
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Parcel Post Dispatch Book (registered). An invaluable book for all who 
send parcels by post. Provides 99 Address Labels, Certificates of Posting, and 
Records of Parcels Dispatched. By the use of this book parcels are insured 
against loss or damage to the extent of £2. Authorised by the Post Office. 
Price 1/-, by post 1/2 ; larger sizes if required. 

Parrakeets, Popular. How to Keep and Breed Them. By W. T. 
Greene, M.D., M.A., F.Z.S., <&c. With 8 Full Page Plates. In paper, price 
1/-, by post 1/2. 

Parrot. The Grey, and How to Treat it. By W. T. Greene, M.D., M.A., 
F.Z.S., &c. Second Edition. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Patience, Games of, for one or more Players. How to Play 173 different 
Games of Patience. By M. Whitmore Jones. Hlustrated. Series I., 39 
games; Series II., 34 games; Series III., 33 games ; Series IV., 37 games; 
Series V., 30 games. Each, in paper, 1/-, by post 1/2. The five bound together, 
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Pedigree Record, The. Being Part I. of " The Breeders' and Exhibitors' 
Record," for the Registration of Particulars concerning Pedigrees of Stock of 
every Description. By W. K. Taunton. In cloth gilt, price 2/6, by post 2/9. 

Photo Printing. A Practical Guide to Popular Photographic Printing Papers 
and their Treatment, dealing with the leading Kinds of P.O.P., Bromide, 
Platinotype, Carbon, Self-Toning, and Gas-light Papers. By Hector 
Maclean, F.R.P.S. Second Edition. Illustrated. In paper, price 1/-, by 
post 1/2. 

Photography, Modern, for Amateurs. A Practical Handbook for 
all Photographers except those advanced in the Art. New (Sixth) Edition, 
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price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Pianos, Tuning and Repairing. The Amateur's Guide to the Practical 
Management of a Cottage or Grand Piano without the intervention of a 
Professional. By Chas. Babbington. Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 
In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Picture-Frame Making for Amateurs. Being Practical Instructions 
in the Making of various kinds of Frames for Paintings, Drawings, Photo- 
graphs, and Engravings. By the Rev. J. Lukin. Illustrated. In paper, 
price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Pig, Book of the. The Selection, Breeding, Feeding, and Management of the 
Pig ; the Treatment of its Diseases ; the Curing and Preserving of Hams, 
Bacon, and other Pork Foods ; and other information appertaining to Pork 
Farming. By Professor James Long. Fully Illustrated with Portraits of 
Prize Pigs, Plans of Model Piggeries, &c. Second Edition, Revised. In cloth 
gilt, price 6/6 ; by post 6/10. 

Pig-Keeping, Practical : A Manual for Amateurs, based on personal 
Experience in Breeding, Feeding, and Fattening ; also in Buying and Selling 
Pigs at Market Prices. By R. D. Garratt. Second Edition. In paper, price 
1/-, by post 1/2. 

Pigeon-Keeping for Amateurs. A Complete Guide to the Amateur 
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cloth gilt, price 2/-, by post 2/3 ; in paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

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Poker Work, A Guide to, including Coloured Poker Work and Relief Burnina;. 
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necessary Tools, and Instructions for their use. By W. D. Thompson. 
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Polishes and Stains for Woods: A Complete Guide to Polishing Wood- 
work, with Directions for Staining, and Full Information for Making the 
Stains, Polishes, &c, in the simplest and most satisfactory manner. By 
David Denning. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Pool, Games of. A Handy Book for Billiard Players, describing Various 
English and American Pool Games, and giving the Rules in full. Illustrated. 
In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Portraiture, Home, for Amateur Photographers. Being the result of many 
years' incessant work in the production of Portraits "at home." By P. R. 
s\i.mon (Richard Penlake), late Editor of The Photographic News. Fully 
Illustrated. Second Edition, Revised. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Postage Stamps, and their Collection. A Practical Handbook for Collectors 
of Postal Stamps, Envelopes, Wrappers, and Cards. By Oliver Firth, 
Member of the Philatelic Societies of London, Leeds, and Bradford. Pro- 
fusely Illustrated. In cloth gilt, price 2/6, by post 2/10. 

In connection with this book we have arranged to supply Gauges for 
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Postmarks, History of British. With 350 Illustrations and a List of 
Numbers used in Obliterations. By J. H. Daniels. In cloth gilt, price 2/6, 
by post 2/9. 

Postmarks of the British Isles, the History of the Early. From 
their Introduction down to 1840, with Special Remarks on and Reference to the 
Sections of the Postal Service to which tbey particularly applied. Compiled 
chiefly from Official Records by John G. Hendv, Curator of the Record 
Room, General Post Office. Illustrated. In cloth, price 3/6, by post 3/9. 

Pottery and Porcelain, English. A Guide for Collectors. Handsomely 
Illustrated with Engravings of Specimen Pieces and the Marks used by the 
different Makers. With some account of the latest values realised. By the 
Rev. E. A. Downman. Fourth Edition, Revised and Enlarged, by Aubrey 
Gunn, Expert in old Pottery and Porcelain to The Bazaar. In doth gilt, price 
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Poultry and Egg Raising at Home. A Practical Work, showing how 
Eggs and Poultry may be produced for Home Consumption with little expendi- 
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Poultry-Farming, Profitable. Describing in Detail the Methods that Give 
the Best Results, and pointing out the Mistakes to be Avoided. By J. II. 
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Poultry for Prizes and Profit. A Complete and Practical Guide to the 
Breeding and Management of Domestic Fowls for Exhibition and General 
Purposes. By Prof. James Long. New Edition, Revised and Enlarged by 
W. M. Elkington. Magnificently Illustrated. In cloth gilt, price 6/-, by 
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Poultry for Prizes. A Standard Work as to the Points of the various Breeds, 
and the Management of Exhibition Poultry. Profusely Illustrated. In cloth 
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Poultry for Profit. The Practical Management of Utility Poultry, with Illus- 
trated descriptions of the various Breeds. In cloth gilt, price 3/-, by post 3/3. 

Poultry Incubators and their Management. By J. H. Sutcliffe. 
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Poultry-Keeping, Popular. A Practical and Complete Guide to Breeding 
and Keeping Poultry for Eggs or for the Table. Fourth Edition, with 
Additional Matter and Illustrations. By W. M. Elkington. In vaper, 
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Press Work for Women. A Practical Guide to the Beginner. What to 
Write, How to Write it, and Where to Send it. By Frances H. Low. In 
paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

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14 Published by L. Upcott Gill, 

Rabbit, Book of the. A Complete Work on Breeding and Rearing all Varieties 
of Fancy Rabbits, giving their History, Variations, Uses, Points, Selection, 
Mating, Management, &c, <fcc. Second Edition. Edited by Kempster 
\Y. Knight. Illustrated with Coloured and other Plates. In cloth gilt, price 
10/6, by post 10/11. 

Rabbits for Prizes and Profit. The Proper Management of Fancy Rabbits 
in Health and Disease, for Pets or the Market, and Descriptions of every 
known Variety, with Instructions for Breeding Good Specimens. By Charles 
Rayson. Second Edition. Illustrated. In cloth gilt, price 2/6, by post 2/9. Also 
in Sections, as follow : 

Rabbits, The Management of. Including Hutches, Breeding, Feeding, 
Diseases and their Treatment, Rabbit Courts, &c. New Edition Revised 
by Meredith Fuadd. Fully Illustrated. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Rabbits, Exhibition. Being descriptions of all Varieties of Fancy Rabbits, 
their Points of Excellence, and how to obtain them. Illustrated. In paper, 
price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Repousse Work for Amateurs. Being the Art of Ornamenting Thin 
Metal with Raised Figures. By L. L. Haslope. Illustrated. In paper, 
price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Roses for Amateurs. A Practical Guide to the Selection and Cultivation of 
the best Roses. By the Rev. J. Ho.nywood D'Ombrain, late Hon. Sec. Nat. 
Rose Soc. Third Edition, thoroughly Revised and much Enlarged, with a 
Chapter on Insects and Fungi injurious to Roses, by \V. D. Drury, F.E.S. 
Fully and well illustrated In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Rubber. Para Rubber in the Malay Peninsula. Notes and Figures in 
connection with the Cultivation of Para Rubber (Hevea Brasiliensis). By W. 
F. C. Asimont. In cloth, price 2/6, by post 2/8. 

Sailing Tours. The Yachtsman's Guide to the Cruising Waters of the English 
and Adjacent Coasts. With Descriptions of every Creek, Harbour, and Road- 
stead on the Course. With numerous Charts printed in Colours, showing Deep 
water, Shoals, and Sands exposed at low water, with soundings. By Frank 
Cowper. M.A. In cloth gilt. 

Vol. I. The Coasts of Essex and Suffolk, from the Thames to Aldborough. 
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Vol. II. The South Coast, from the Nore to the Scilly Isles. Third 
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Vol. III. The Coast of Brittany, from L'Abervrach to St. Nazaire, and 
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Vol. IV. The West Coast, from Land's End to Mull of Galloway, in- 
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Vol. V. The Coasts of Scotland and theN.E. of England down to Ald- 
borough. Forty Charts. Price 10/6, by post 10/10. 

Sea-Fishing for Amateurs. A Practical Book on Fishing from Shore, Rocks, 
or Piers, with a Directory of Fishing Stations on the English and Welsh Coasts. 
Illustrated by numerous Charts, showing the best spots for the various 
kinds of fish, position of rocks, <tc. Second Edition, revised, enlarged, and 
copiously illustrated. By Frank Hudson. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Sea Fishing. Practical. A Comprehensive Handbook for all Sea Anglers, 
on the Be>t Tackle, and mo«t Successful Methods of Sea Angling on our Coasts. 
By P. L. Haslope. Fully Illustrated. In cloth qilt, price 3/6, by post 3/9. 

Sea-Life, Realities of. Describing the Duties, Prospects, and Pleasures of 
a Young Sailor in the Mercantile Marine. By H. E. Acraman Coate. With 
a Preface by J. R Diggle, M.A. In cloth gilt, price 3/6, by post 3/10. 

Seaside Watering Places. A description of the Holiday Resorts on the 
Coasts of England and Wales, the Channel and Scilly Islands, and the Isle of 
Man, giving full particulars of them and their attractions, and all information 
likely to assist persons in selecting places in which to spend their Holidays, 
according to their individual tastes. Profusely Illustrated. Thirtieth Year of 
Publication. In one vol., cloth, price 2/6, by post 2/10. Also in three Sections 
as under, price 1/-, by post 1/2: The East Coast {out of print). The 
South Coast — From Hastings in Sussex to Penzance in Cornwall, including 
the Isle of Wight, Channel and Scilly Islands. 57 Illustrations. 86 Places 
to choose from. The West Coast— From St. Ives in Cornwall to Skinbur- 
ness in Cumberland, including the Isle of Man. 66 Illustrations. 129 Places 
to choose from. 

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Bazaar Buildings, Drury Lane, London. 15 

Sea Terms, a Dictionary of. For the use of Yachtsmen, Voyagers, and 
all who go down to the sea in big or little ships. By A. Ansted. Fully Illus- 
trated. In cloth gilt, price 5/-, by post 5/4. 

Shadow Entertainments, and How to Work Them. Being Something about 
Shadows and the way to make them Profitable and Funny. By A. Patterson. 
Illustrated. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

Shaving. The Mysteries, Secrets, and Whole Art of An Easy Shave, by One 
Who Knows. In paper, price 1/-, by post 1/2. 

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